WKVI Information Center

Starke County Tourism Embezzlement Explained

By: WKVI Information Center
Published: February 8th, 2012

Jennie Carter

In an effort to explain how the embezzlement of $7,140 could go undetected for almost a year, the Starke County Tourism Board issued a timeline and statement yesterday in the Jennie Carter case.

According to the timeline, Carter, Coordinator of the Drug and Tobacco Free Starke County organization, wrote a check for that amount of money on March 21st, 2011 to the Drug Free organization. She claimed it was for money owed to the Indiana Department of Revenue in taxes. Cosigning with Carter was the Tourism Board President, Rich Wieczorek, who is not suspected of wrongdoing. The check was cashed by Carter, who took possession of the money.

Throughout the next nine months, Carter evaded certain detection by a series of misinformation given when questioned about aspects of the fraudulent check.

It was not until Carter admitted the embezzlement on January 11th, 2012 that the mystery was completely solved. Although there was a certain amount of suspicion, the key piece of the puzzle fell into place when the State of Indiana Department of Revenue in December said their records indicated that the Starke County Tourism Commission was not registered to withhold state and county withholding taxes.

Carter has paid back much of the money embezzled and has promised full restitution, but that has not kept the Starke County Prosecutor’s Office from investigating the case. One tourism board member has labeled the episode as a sorry mess.

The tourism department’s release yesterday said that certain procedures have now been put in place that would thwart a similar situation in the future.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 at 5:06 am and is filed under News, Starke. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

7 Comments on “Starke County Tourism Embezzlement Explained”

Subscribe to this post's RSS feed

  1. 1. Starke Co. Native
    February 8th, 2012 at 7:23 am

    If such is the case would you not see whom the check was endorsed by ? Then to validate that just to be sure would you not then contact the IN Dept. of Revenue ? Seems as if there is still more to this “Sorry Mess” then meets the eye. God Bless Starke Co.

  2. 2. Betty
    February 8th, 2012 at 8:02 am

    I don’t understand how an individual can “cash” a check made out to an organization. We own a business and any check made payable to the business MUST be deposited into the business account. I cannot cash any check made payable to the business. I guess the other question in my mind is if it was for taxes due by the tourism board, why was the check not made out to the department of revenue? Why would that go through a completely separate board’s account? Lots of questions on this that just don’t add up.

  3. 3. bd
    February 8th, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    no bank is going to cash a check made out to indiana dept of revenue. if the 2nd signer of the check signed it blank, that may not be wrong doing, its just wrong. on wkvi i have read over and over how a drug dealer or a car jacker should get a 2nd chance. if she did this she was wrong so i am not supporting the action, but i can see how fighting cancer, spending more than you even make some months on indiana’s high risk insurance plan, which on top of being too high it also carries thousands of dollars in co-pays and deductables. trying to work, trying to live, trying to feed your family, sometimes the load is just to heavy to carry, then we may do something that is wrong just to survive. as you see if facts are correct she had replaced over $6000 leaving about $1000 short. if she goes to jail are we goning to not let her have cancer testing and cancer treatments if needed, cancer testing and treatment would cost someone, probaly the taxpayer, thousands of dollars per month. if she was a drug addict she would be sent to rehab no questions asked. i would donate $50 as a start to raise the remaining $1000 and i am sure others would donate as they could also. i think the moneys from these different committees (which seen to be way too many of) should be managed in the court house or by a bank, turn in an invoice and the bank sends out a check. i have only meet this lady 2-3 times but i can tell she has love in her heart, not evil. like i said i am not supporting her action, if she did it, it was wrong. send her to jail, no. fire her, no. loose control of the check book, oh yes.

  4. 4. anon
    February 8th, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    We all are so fed up with political embezzlement, that any resemblance of it, we are ready to hand out life sentences. This woman obviously is in need of community support, & made full effort to pay it back. If it’s paid back, then let’s look at how we can help her. I recall another politician, that approx 30 yrs ago, “borrowed” $5K from the library system, & when caught, they asked her just to pay it back. She then went on to a very successful political career. This lady needs help, love & prayers from her community, for we are better than this “crucifixtion” that takes place because of political & family differences(i.e. treasurer fiasco). We had FAR MORE $$$ that was unaccounted for that was swept under the rug. So, let’s do what’s right, & come together to help this lady. And to anyone else in an office, if you get this desperate, please ask for help, & I pray, as a community, that we reach out to help.

  5. 5. Betty
    February 8th, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    So…if a person is ill, it is okay to steal? I’m not sure I agree with that. Nowhere have I seen or heard any reference to her health so maybe you have information that others do not. However, there are a lot of people dealing with health issues. That does not give anyone the right to steal. I doubt that jail would even be considered in this situation since she is not a violent offender. However, losing her job is completely appropriate. She stole taxpayer dollars and that is wrong. Probation and making restitution is likely all she will get over this, but it is wrong and the commissioners are absolutely correct in making her resign from whatever boards she sits on, especially the ones that they appointed her to.

  6. 6. Anonymous
    February 8th, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    The Economic Development Foundation is a big part of the problem.

  7. 7. anoymous
    February 8th, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    Explained; Stealing is stealing, She should be let go.

0 Trackbacks/Pings (Trackback URL)

Back to Top | Back to Front Page