U.s. Attorney Announces Arrest And Charging Of Former Center Township Official
Township Chief Financial Officer embezzled over $343,000 in Public Money
INDIANAPOLIS B The United States Attorney, Joseph H. Hogsett announced this afternoon the arrest and charging of Alan S. Mizen, 59, Zionsville. Mizen served as the Chief Financial Officer for Center Township in Marion County, Indiana, from November 2001 through January 2011. Mizen now faces prosecution for Theft/Embezzlement of Federal Program Funds as the U.S. Attorney's Office has redoubled its efforts to combat, identify, investigate and root out public corruption by elected and appointed officials in Indiana through the activities of the Public Integrity Working Group.
"The message of this office has been consistent over the last two years, but bears repeating today: it doesn't matter what your politics are or what position you hold in our community," Hogsett said. "If you do not uphold the public trust, our Public Integrity Working Group will find you, investigate you and the U.S. Attorney's Office will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law."
A federal criminal complaint, unsealed this morning, charges Mizen with theft concerning programs receiving federal funds. The complaint alleges that Mizen set up an account with PNC Bank and deposited a check in the amount of $343,541.08 that was drawn from public funds into the PNC Bank account. Mizen then used the computerized accounting system at the Center Township Trustees Office to create a false invoice indicating that he had written the check to the “Treasurer of State.”
Mizen proceeded to transfer the funds that he deposited into the PNC Bank account to various personal accounts that he maintained. From the personal accounts, Mizen allegedly used over $200,000 to help purchase a residence in Zionsville, purchase a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck, fund his child’s college education, finance personal vacations, purchase a diamond necklace and diamond ring for $8,900 during a trip to the Cayman Islands, and make other consumer purchases. Mizen’s used taxpayer funds to finance these personal expenditures from June 10, 2010 through July 2012.
In addition to arresting Mizen, federal authorities froze a bank account and investment account that Mizen used to channel the embezzled funds. Federal authorities seized the 2009 Toyota Tacoma, diamond ring, and diamond bracelet that Mizen purchased in the Cayman Islands with the embezzled funds. Federal authorities also filed a lis pendens on his residence in Zionsville, which prohibits Mizen from transferring his interest in the real estate until the resolution of the criminal case.
Hogsett explained this case was the result of outstanding law enforcement work by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Indiana State Board of Accounts, with the assistance of the Internal Revenue Service. All three agencies are partners in the U.S. Attorney's Public Integrity Working Group, which was launched in April 2012 with the stated purpose of aggressively investigating allegations of public fraud, waste and abuse by public officials in Indiana. Hoosiers with information on public corruption are encouraged to contact the U.S. Attorney's Office at (317) 229-2443.
Federal Bureau of Investigation Acting Special Agent in Charge Kevin Lyons said, “Citizens are owed integrity at all levels of government.”
Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge James C. Lee stated, “When public officials commit crimes, whether as part of their official duties or in their private lives, they are violating the public trust. IRS-Criminal Investigation helps ensure that all Americans, including public officials, are held to the same standard.”
According to Assistant United States Attorney Bradley A. Blackington, who is prosecuting the case for the government, Mizen could be sentenced to up to ten years in federal prison, and could also face significant fines and federal supervision for up to three years once he has served his prison term.
An indictment or complaint are only charges and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.