Former Merrillville employee could face prison time

2014-02-12T20:30:00Z 2014-02-12T20:42:05Z Former Merrillville employee could face prison timeElvia Malagon elvia.malagon@nwi.com, (219) 933-3246 nwitimes.com
February 12, 2014 8:30 pm  • 

HAMMOND | A former Merrillville Town Court clerk could face 30 to 37 months in prison, according to a sentencing memorandums filed in federal court this week. 

Virlissa Crenshaw, 43, of East Chicago, pleaded guilty in October 2012 to a charge of theft from a federally funded government organization and willfully filing a false federal tax return, according to a plea agreement. 

As part of the agreement, Crenshaw will have to pay $176,763 to the town of Merrillville and $55,203 to the Internal Revenue Service. 

Crenshaw is accused of misappropriating bond money in 400 criminal cases in the Merrillville court system, according to a sentencing memorandum filed by prosecutors. They are asking a judge to sentence Crenshaw to 30 to 37 months in prison. 

According to a sentencing memorandum, prosecutors alleged Crenshaw previously misappropriated $18,000 in book rental fees and gym uniforms when she worked for the School City of East Chicago. 

Crenshaw's attorney is asking a judge to sentence her to 30 months of home detention because of the extensive medical treatment she needs, according to a memorandum filed by her attorney. The memorandum outlines in detail Crenshaw's health problems. 

The Social Security Administration determined in April 2011 that Crenshaw was disabled because of her health problems and receives $946 every month in disability benefits, according to the memorandum.  

Crenshaw is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 24 in federal court. 

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