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State seeking to recover $11,000 in public funds related to theft from golf course

July 21, 2017

The state of Indiana is seeking more than $11,000 in public funds from a former Edinburgh golf course employee who admitted to repeatedly stealing money from the public course.

The Indiana Attorney General’s Office announced Thursday it had filed a complaint to recover public funds against Ethan Duke, who pleaded guilty to stealing $4,000 from the Timbergate Golf Course, a public course, in the spring of 2015. The missing funds were first discovered on May 31, 2015, when another Timbergate employee, who was reconciling the court’s Pro Shop and green fees from the night before, discovered a shortage of $229.13.

Duke had been assigned to collect the fees during the evening of May 30, and when he was confronted about the shortage in funds, he admitted to stealing $4,000 from the course by failing to ring up sales in the cash register. He later pleaded guilty to Level 6 felony theft.

The state alleges in its complaint that the town of Edinburgh lost $4,000 in public funds as a result of Duke’s actions and the State Board of Accounts incurred $808.10 in additional costs. The course was able to collect $317 under a cash bond and $3,433 under a crime insurance policy which covered Duke at the relevant time. Thus, Duke is liable for $1,058.10, the complaint says.

Further, the Indiana Crime Victims Relief Act allows the state to collect treble damages up to three times the amount of actual damages incurred as result of Duke’s actions. Factoring in the $317 he paid by way of a cash bond, Duke’s theft left the state with $3,683 in damages, so the state asserts in its complaint that it is entitled to $11,049, plus court costs and reasonable attorney fees.

In addition to the requested relief in the state’s complaint, Duke was also sentenced to 545 days of home detention for his Level 6 felony theft conviction.

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