Former Callaway County Collector Sentenced for Stealing Nearly $300,000
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The former Callaway County Collector was sentenced in federal court today for embezzling nearly $300,000 from Callaway County taxpayers.
Pamela J. Oestreich, 60, of Fulton, Mo., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Bough to two years and six months in federal prison without parole. Oestreich was immediately taken into custody at the conclusion of today’s sentencing hearing to begin serving her sentence.
The court also ordered Oestreich to pay $379,588 in restitution to the county, which includes approximately $280,000 in direct damages and $99,588 in indirect damages (such as audit expenses) resulting from her theft. In a memorandum to the court, the government recommends that, if Oestreich is unable to pay the full restitution within 30 days, the court should order her to turn over her half-interest in the sale of her home (which she owns outright with her husband), to pay 25 percent of her monthly pension benefits from the County Employees’ Retirement Fund, and to liquidate one of cars she owns with her husband as well as her part-interest in a residence she owns with her siblings.
On Sept. 24, 2018, Oestreich pleaded guilty to stealing from an organization that receives federal funds.
Oestreich, who was elected as the Callaway County Collector in November 2002, admitted that she disbursed taxpayer funds for her personal use on 103 occasions beginning in September 2015. Oestreich deposited taxpayer funds directly into her personal bank account. Oestreich also moved taxpayer funds between Callaway County bank accounts to conceal her theft of cash deposits made by taxpayers at the Callaway County Courthouse. The total amount embezzled by Oestreich from Callaway County taxpayers was $299,387.
Oestreich resigned from her office on March 15, 2018, when confronted by the Callaway County Sheriff and FBI agents.
During the course of her theft of public money, Oestreich made payments totaling $19,430 from her personal bank account into Callaway County Collector accounts to hide her theft, which reduced the amount of restitution ordered by the court.
This case was prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. Oliver. It was investigated by the Callaway County, Mo., Sheriff’s Office and the FBI.