Archive for Thursday, December 1, 2005

Treasurer’s wife guilty in $114,000 embezzlement

December 1, 2005


The wife of the former Willow Springs Township treasurer has admitted embezzling more than $114,000 from the township's coffers.

Shelley Ausherman, wife of former treasurer Bruce Ausherman, falsified the township's checks during a two-year period, according to a plea agreement reached last week in U.S. District Court.

Willow Springs, one of nine townships in Douglas County, covers about 40 square miles south of Lawrence and provides services such as fire protection and road maintenance. The main source of funding is residents' tax dollars.

Shelley Ausherman admitted in her plea that between October 2002 and December 2004, she repeatedly wrote checks on the township's account payable to "T.C." - the initials for her farm, Tauy Creek - and deposited them in her personal bank account.

When the checks eventually were returned to the Aushermans by the township's bank, she concealed the theft by writing over the letters "T.C." to make it appear the checks had been written to other businesses.

"Shelley has cooperated fully in the investigation. She regrets very much her conduct in this case and intends to pay full restitution to the township," defense attorney Robin Fowler said.

Fowler also said that Bruce Ausherman "had no knowledge of and no participation in any of this activity."

Neither federal authorities nor Ausherman's attorney would say how she used the money.

The FBI began investigating earlier this year when a Douglas County official found a discrepancy during a routine audit of the township's books. The township reported to the county that it spent more than $235,000 on rock between 2002 and 2004, but there were no invoices for some of those purchases.

In 2004, the township received a $69,943 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. That's why the case was charged in federal court.

Despite the multiple thefts, Shelley Ausherman was charged with just one count: theft from a program receiving federal funds. That charge specifically relates to a check she wrote to herself in October 2004 for $7,212.19.

She faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, but it's unlikely she'll receive that much time. She will be sentenced Feb. 6 and is free on $25,000 bond.

The new Willow Springs treasurer, Suzanne Evinger, said the township is now requiring two signatures on checks, but she declined to talk about the case further because it's still pending.

"The only thing I can say is we're doing our best to get things straightened out," she said. "I'm sure that once this is completed, we will probably make more changes and that it won't happen again."

The Aushermans did not respond to a phone message left Wednesday at their Baldwin home. Township trustee Charles Wintermantel also did not return a call seeking comment.


cutny 12 years, 5 months ago

Are we not showing her picture because she is white and middle class?

oxandale 12 years, 5 months ago

maybe that is why her picture isnt being shown.. because she isnt white and middle class. Maybe she is hispanic and upperclass? Or wait.. how about black and middle class or black and upper class? Wait.. how about she is a mix of several different races and started out as one class and is now another?? Who really cares her race/class? She did the crime now she will do te time

allateup 12 years, 5 months ago

How is it her husband, the treasurer, didn't discover this in 2002?

christie 12 years, 5 months ago

Are you kidding me? I bet Willow Springs is Alabama-White. The only diversity there is the varying degrees of ear-wax. What I wanna know is if she's Republican. Ten bucks says she is, and I bet she's a fine Christian woman to boot.

Shardwurm 12 years, 5 months ago

Thanks for that Christie. I'm glad to see that that ignorance and stereo-typing is still the norm.

I'm also glad you posted since you've never made a mistake in your life. Is your name Christ or Christie?

I'll bet you're a Democrat, overweight, un-educated, divorced mother of three, and really mad at life.

Am I close?

oxandale 12 years, 5 months ago

I am kinda wondering.. why does it matter to some on whether or not she white or not, christian or not?? Isnt the whole point she STOLE MONEY and needs to punished for it?

moosejeffries 12 years, 5 months ago

shelly is white and middle class, i went high school with his famliy,,,,,,,

oxandale 12 years, 5 months ago

Thank you 42 Jayhawk!!!! i agree. it doesnt matter race/religion.. she stole. SHe if a thief.

rousseau108 12 years, 5 months ago

42jayhawk, i bet she's very remorseful . . .remorseful that she took funds from a federal grant and got charged in federal court, where criminals get real jail time. too bad for her she didn't stick to embezzling local funds, good ole' Judge Paula "pro-probation" Martin would have given her a scornful look, maybe ordered her to pay restitution, and sent her back to her quaint country farm.

feefifofum 12 years, 5 months ago

I want to know why she stole the money. We always ask the question "what is the root problem or cause" when people commit violent crimes. This is the second embezzlement case I have seen reported in LJW that does not say anything about WHY? Greed ? Gambling debts? Drugs?

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