Hidden cameras were used in an investigation into missing funds at the Marion Water Department that has led to the department's former manager now facing federal charges.
Linda Heyde, 59 of Marion, was indicted by a grand jury and charged with three counts of embezzlement and theft, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois announced Thursday.
The offenses each carry a statutory maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and mandatory restitution. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of $524,100 in criminal proceeds.
The indictment alleges that Heyde, from 1996 through May 2012, engaged in a scheme to defraud the Marion Water Department while she was the manager who had primary control over the billing accounts. The indictment states that the Marion Police were advised that Heyde was handling the water department's deposit funds in a suspicious manner and that daily bank deposits did not contain cash.
Police installed covert cameras in the water department to monitor suspicious activities. Heyde was observed on camera placing money in her purse. An audit was performed and showed that falsified adjustments had been made to customer accounts resulting in approximately $500,000 in missing funds.
Heyde had worked for the city for decades and had been manager of the water department for about 16 years. She was fired from the position last May, when the investigation was passed on to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Heyde is being represented by attorney John Stobbs. She is due in court on Feb. 5 at the federal courthouse in Benton.