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AG sues to recover $18,000 from LaGrange County clerk

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Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has filed a civil suit against Beverly S. Elliott, LaGrange County clerk, seeking more than $18,000 in misappropriated funds. Elliot is also facing criminal charges following an investigation by the State Board of Accounts and the Indiana State Police.

A June certified audit report by the State Board of Accounts found that from September to December of 2008, the clerk’s office let people pay court fines and fees by credit card, but more than $6,000 of those payments weren’t deposited into the clerk’s office bank account. Elliott also paid appraisals costing $1,600 out of the wrong account. She was supposed to use funds from a recently closed trust fund to pay the costs, but instead she overpaid the recipient by using the wrong account, according to the report.

There have also been shortages in bank accounts and a discrepancy between the clerk’s office receipts and bank accounts.

Funds misappropriated, diverted, or unaccounted for are the clerk’s personal responsibility. The attorney general’s office serves as a collection agent for the state when the State Board of Accounts certifies an audit report. Zoeller filed the suit Tuesday in LaGrange Superior Court 1.

Zoeller is also going after Auto-Owners Insurance of Indianapolis, which issued a $60,000 surety bond to cover the county clerk, to recover the funds. He filed a motion seeking a preliminary injunction that would freeze Elliott’s assets. A hearing on the preliminary injunction is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday.

Elliot also is charged with four counts of Class D felony official misconduct, said special prosecutor Tom Wilson, who filed the charges Monday in LaGrange County.

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