Audit finds more bond payments weren't deposited

2013-11-19T17:45:00Z 2013-12-09T02:11:28Z Audit finds more bond payments weren't depositedChas Reilly chas.reilly@nwi.com, (219) 662-5324 nwitimes.com
November 19, 2013 5:45 pm  • 

MERRILLVILLE | State auditors have determined the amount of Merrillville Town Court bond payments that weren't deposited between 2006 and 2011 is larger than first reported.

A previous audit of the Town Court showed $310,325 in bond payments weren't deposited during that time period.

Virlissa Crenshaw, a former Town Court clerk, pleaded guilty last year to stealing bond money and filing a false tax return in 2009. Crenshaw hasn't yet been sentenced in the case, according to federal court documents.

An Indiana State Board of Accounts audit released Tuesday shows an additional $29,305 in Merrillville Town Court bond payments were not deposited, and they "can be attributed to court cases during the time period of the former court employee's employment."

Crenshaw's duties as a court clerk included picking up envelopes containing bond payments made after hours at the Merrillville Police Department when the clerk's office was closed. She also was responsible for recording cash bonds in the Town Court's computer system.

Since July 2011, the Town Court has redeemed and applied bond payments to affected cases if defendants have provided official receipts proving bond payments and if the court has other documents, including jail release forms and notations in case files, according to the audit.

The latest audit also shows there are 19 other Merrillville Town Court cases in which a bond was needed for a person to be released from jail, but bond payments weren't recorded in the court's computer system.

The total amount of cash bonds not deposited between 2006 and 2011 will not be known until all cases during that time are finalized, the audit states.

A message left for a Merrillville Town Court administrator wasn't immediately returned Tuesday.

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