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Town officials now face federal charges

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Some former Chesterfield town employees accused by the Indiana Attorney General of defrauding their town government now face federal charges.

Christopher Parrish, of Chesterfield; James Kimm, Joseph Brown, and Willard A. Felts, all of Anderson, were indicted by a grand jury in U.S. District Court Tuesday for theft of federal program funds following an investigation by the FBI and Indiana State Police. Felts wasn't named in the state suit.

An Oct. 26, 2009, audit by the State Board of Accounts found Parrish, Kimm, Brown, and brothers Christopher and James Walters defrauded taxpayers out of nearly $260,000 by getting paid for false mileage reimbursement claims and other phony claims, as well as hours they never worked in 2007 and 2008. The state filed charges against the men and two insurers in late November seeking repayment of the public funds and payment of employee-theft insurance Chesterfield took out on the employees in 2007 and 2008.

At the time of the scheme, Parrish was the town's clerk-treasurer; Kimm was a town marshal; Brown was a part-time police officer, and Felts allowed Parrish to use his name to create false invoices. Christopher and James Walters were town maintenance employees who were paid for repair work they never did.

The men face a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count; Parrish is charged with three; Kimm faces two charges; and Brown and Felts each face one count.

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