HAMMOND | A federal judge on Thursday sentenced a former employee of the FBI office in Merrillville to 15 months in prison for lying about stealing nearly $80,000 in evidence.
Melissa L. Sims, 37, of Lowell, worked as an evidence control technician for the FBI in Merrillville from 1996 to September 2008.
She was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Philip P. Simon in federal court in Hammond, who ordered her to begin serving her sentence on Nov. 28 and also ordered her to pay $77,882 in restitution.
In 2010, investigators began probing the source of more than $80,000 in cash deposits to Sims' bank.
Sims pleaded guilty on Feb. 15 to making false statements to FBI agents conducting an investigation.
According to a written plea agreement, Sims stole or embezzled nearly $80,000 in evidence between 2005 and August 2008 without attempting to return it to the rightful owners.