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Mills Treasurer faces two felony charges of theft for allegedly using funds for personal use

Mills Treasurer faces two felony charges of theft for allegedly using funds for personal use

(Casper, Wyo.) - On Thursday the Town of Mills Treasurer, Lisa Whetstone was charged with three charges including two counts of felony theft and a charge of failure or refusal to account for, deliver or pay over property. Court documents allege that she used more than $64,000 of the government's money for her own, personal use. According to court records, the investigation began following a January 2015 State Audit. The Department of Audit (DOA) were unable to find cash receipts being deposited into the town's bank accounts. The DOA continued to expand their audit to determine if the missing cash was a onetime occurrence or a reoccurring, consistent event. Based on testing all cash receipted versus cash deposited, the auditors found $26,668.80 short. They also looked into July 2014-December 2014 and found $18,877.34 short. It was found that from July 2013-December 2014 the town was $45,546.14 short. Auditors then spoke with the Mills Treasurer, Whetstone about how they deposit checks and money. It was determined that Whetstone was the one responsible for taking money, filing out deposit slips, and then giving them to another employee to deposit, according to reports. Speaking with employees, the auditors learned that Whetstone had access to the cash that came in, she made the deposit slips and she entered the amount of the deposit into Qucikbooks, an online program. Reports continue to show that during the audit, the DOA checked into the town's credit card procedures and the cards were issued to the Department Heads. The auditors discovered that Whetstone was using the town issued credit card for expenses that appeared to be personal. Of the town issued cards, Whetstone was the only person to consistently carry a significant monthly balance. She was the sole person to receive all the town's credit card statements and made the payments. In October of 2015 a search warrant was issued for Whetstone's financial records. According to reports significant financial burden was witnessed, showing overdraft fees and return checks fee's that totaled approximately $8,000. Continuing their audit, it was learned that deposits were not made in a timely manner, often had incorrect dates written and never included a change amount. Looking at check activity, it was learned that most of the checks were deposited, yet they were normally short cash. The Department of Criminal Investigation was called into investigate and spoke with the Town of Mills Mayor Marrolyce Wilson in October. She was advised that their was a theft and that Mrs. Whetstoen was the primary suspect. Court records indicate that Wilson's only response was to cover her ears. Records continue to show that Wilson and Whetstone informed employees of the Town of Mills that if they cooperated with law enforcement, they were threatened to be disciplined and put on probation. Mills Mayor Marrolyce Wilson said in a statement to Oil City that Whetstone is on administrative leave indefinitely. "I as the Mayor of the Town of Mills want to assure our community that we have taken the State of Wyoming Audit very seriously and have implemented any and all recommendations the auditors had for us," said Wilson. "We have put policies and procedures with checks and balances in place to prevent this from happening in the future. I want it known that I have cooperated fully and will continue to cooperate fully with the investigation and charges brought against Mrs. Whetstone until this case is closed." Whetstone appeared in Circuit Court Thursday for her initial appearance where she did not enter pleas due to the felony charges. More information will be provided as it becomes available. #oilcity #news