Archive for Wednesday, April 2, 2003

City fraud case reaches conclusion

April 2, 2003

The fraud case against a former city of Basehor employee was settled Friday, March 28 in Leavenworth County District Court.

Jennifer Srubas-Willis, a former assistant city clerk in charge of handling utility bills and municipal court costs, was charged with misuse of public funds and felony theft.

Both counts are felonies.

However, Friday morning Srubas-Willis plead no contest to misuse of public funds. Prosecutors dropped the felony theft charge.

The plea concerning the criminal charges was handled through the district attorney's office. Basehor city officials handled an agreement on paying back funds stolen from city coffers.

Srubas-Willis will be sentenced at 9 a.m. Friday, April 25. Prosecutors said she would receive probation.

Srubas-Willis and Basehor city officials reached an agreement Friday morning, which mandates the former city clerk pay Basehor $15,000 restitution.

Under the agreement, Srubas-Willis will pay a lump sum of $10,000 to the city within five days after sentencing. The remaining $5,000 will be returned within six months of sentencing.

If the payments are not made within the time frame established in the agreement, the deal becomes null and void, prosecutors said.

Srubas-Willis, a Basehor native, was hired as assistant city clerk in June 2001. She was fired in July 2002.

The city never gave an official reason for her dismissal.

An investigation into missing funds began in September 2002 and concluded in November of that year when police arrested her at her Tonganoxie home.

Before working for the city, Srubas-Willis worked in the accounting departments of several different companies. She has worked for a non-profit organization, an insurance firm and a doctor's office.

The Srubas-Willis case caused Basehor city officials to enact changes to their day-to-day accounting procedures.

A series of checks and balances was developed between the city clerk, assistant city clerk and treasurer to prevent a similar situation.

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