CHAGRIN FALLS, Ohio — A woman who worked as clerk for Chagrin Falls for more than two decades has been hit with felony charges for allegedly embezzling more than $238,000 from the building and utilities departments.
According to Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas records, Debbie Bosworth, 53, is charged with two counts of theft in office, both third-degree felonies; thirteen counts of tampering with records, all third-degree felonies; and seven counts of money laundering, also all third-degree felonies.
According to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutors Office, village officials found financial discrepancies in November 2019 in the building and water departments and the accounting software that was used. Discrepancies were also found in the monthly reports that were sent to the finance department.
An investigation by the Chagrin Falls Police Department led authorities to Bosworth. According to the prosecutor's office, "Bosworth stole cash from the water department and replaced the missing cash with checks that were to be deposited in the building department’s bank account. She then submitted falsified reports to the finance department to hide the theft. In December 2019, as allegations came to light, Bosworth altered records on the building department’s software program in a further attempt to conceal the crime."
Authorities say Bosworth allegedly stole more than $238,000 between January 2000 and November 2019.
Mayor Bill Tomko issued the following statement:
"As previously disclosed, a former Village employee stole funds from the Village. Yesterday this employee, was charged by the Cuyahoga County Grand Jury with 22 counts of theft and abuse of her office. This is a purely legal matter and we will not be answering any questions regarding this matter, all questions need to be directed to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutors office.
I want to assure everyone that their individual water and sewer bills and accounts were not adversely affected in any way by the thefts. The Village is insured for losses of this nature.
We will be making no further comment on this matter until it has been legally resolved."
News 5 has reached out to Chagrin Falls regarding Bosworth's employment status but haven't heard back.
Bosworth is scheduled to appear in court on March 1.
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