Home Kansas City Press Releases 2012 Former City Clerk of Thayer Pleads Guilty to Embezzling $120,000 in City Funds
This is archived material from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) website. It may contain outdated information and links may no longer function.

Former City Clerk of Thayer Pleads Guilty to Embezzling $120,000 in City Funds

U.S. Attorney’s Office May 21, 2012
  • District of Kansas (316) 269-6481

WICHITA, KS—A former city clerk of the city of Thayer in Neosho County, Kansas has pleaded guilty to embezzling $120,000, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.

Laura Whittley, 49, Thayer, Kansas, pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud and one count of money laundering. In her plea, she admitted she used more than one method to steal money from the city, including:

  • pocketing cash paid by citizens for utility bills, municipal court payments, parks and wildlife licenses and permits;
  • issuing unauthorized checks to herself;
  • using a city credit card to pay for her personal purchases; and
  • submitting fraudulent bills for clean-up work done after a large storm in May 2009. The bills were paid by the city, partly with funds received through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

In order to conceal the thefts, she presented a fraudulent letter to Emprise Bank in Chanute, Kansas, directing the bank to cash a $100,000 certificate of deposit belonging to the city. She had the bank put $50,000 into a new CD, and she deposited some of the remaining proceeds into the city’s account to conceal the thefts.

Sentencing is set for August 13. She faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison and a fine up to $1 million on the bank fraud count and a maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine up to $250,000 on the money laundering count.

Grissom commended the Neosho County Sheriff’s Office, the Internal Revenue Service, the FBI, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Mona Furst for their work on the case.

This content has been reproduced from its original source.