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Hogsett Announces Country Club of Indianapolis Defrauded of Nearly Half-Million Dollars
U.S. Attorney Says Prosecution is More Results in Fight Against ‘Culture of Corruption’

U.S. Attorney’s Office December 18, 2012
  • Southern District of Indiana (317) 226-6333

INDIANAPOLIS—Joseph H. Hogsett, the United States Attorney, announced today that the former controller of the Country Club of Indianapolis, Denise S. Abrell, age 41, of Indianapolis, was been sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson to 24 months (two years) in federal prison after her conviction for wire fraud. The defendant was found to have defrauded the Country Club of more than $400,000 during her tenure as controller.

“Hoosiers deserve to have faith in our business and financial community, and when those who are in positions of trust violate their duty to serve, we all suffer,” Hogsett said. “That is why the U.S. Attorney’s Office has redoubled our efforts to combat the culture of corruption wherever it is found, whenever it is found.”

The Country Club of Indianapolis employed Abrell as its controller beginning in May 2008, a position that was responsible for managing the business’s taxes and accounting, member invoices, accounts receivables and payables, preparing financial reports for meetings of the Board of Directors, and representing the staff at meetings of the Board of Directors.

Between November 2008 and December 2011, Abrell engaged in a scheme to use Club resources for personal gain, writing checks against the Club’s bank accounts in her own name. All told, the Club was defrauded of approximately $441,000 by Abrell prior to her arrest. Abrell wrote checks and utilized the Club’s credit card without the Club’s knowledge or authority on a number of occasions, justifying those expenses when questioned by assuring the Club’s Board of Directors that they were used for the Club’s benefit.

“The Country Club of Indianapolis was the first club in the city, founded in 1891,” said George Arvantis, the Club’s director of operations. “The Board of Directors, members, and management of club are pleased to have this matter behind us.”

This prosecution comes as Hogsett has made it a priority of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2012 to aggressively combat corruption and fraud in central and southern Indiana. The case was the result of a collaborative investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia J. Ridgeway, who prosecuted the case for the government, Abrell was fined ordered to serve three years of supervised release upon completion of her prison term.

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