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Former Owen Co. Auditor Sentenced To 20 Months In Federal Prison
Updated October 29, 2015 8:26 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(INDIANAPOLIS) - Former Owen County Auditor Angie Lawson was sentenced Wednesday to 20 months in federal prison after she plead guilty to stealing $310,000 in county funds.

Authorities say she used a county credit card to pay for alcohol, food, toys and vacations, stealing nearly $310,000 in total.

In addition to her prison sentence, 58-year-old Lawson will also serve three years of supervised release and repay more than $300,000 in restitution.

"The citizens of Owen County deserve elected officials whom they can trust to be fiscally responsible and to do the right thing," U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler said in a statement. "When that trust is betrayed, it shakes the foundation of our democracy and weakens the effectiveness of local government."

Lawson was arrested by Federal marshals in February at her Gosport home after a federal grand jury indicted Lawson on five federal counts of theft of after an investigation that started in July when the current auditor noticed a suspicious Walmart bill. Lawson had established a post office box in her name so the bills were sent there instead of directly to the county auditor's office for payment.

Preliminary Indiana State Police reports indicate Lawson went on shopping sprees often, sometimes spending more than $2,000 in one transaction. Police says she used five county issued credit cards to buy everything from Fireball cinnamon-flavored whisky, lingerie, toys, diamond jewelry, televisions, vacations and numerous other items.
She is also suspected of spending more than $18,000 in county funds for mail-order novelty items purchased from the Oriental Trading Co. and paying with a county check; not paying almost $50,000 in county health insurance premiums; and siphoning thousands from a county account that pays lawyers to represent indigent clients.

Here is how the alleged theft breaks down by year:

2010 - $36,720
2011 - $56,376
2012 - $80,847
2013 - $79,240
2014 - $56,415

Each count covers one year; the federal statute of limitations for fraud and theft is five years. Police say Lawson may have embezzled money before 2010, but she cannot be prosecuted for any theft of funds during that time.

Lawson was Owen County auditor from 2005 to 2012. She was also an Owen County council member and deputy auditor in 2013 and 2014. She then served as chief deputy auditor from January 2013 until she was fired last August.

She was the Republican precinct committee woman in Wayne Township 2, where her husband, Larry, was the vice precinct committeeman, but they have resigned in light of the suspicions of financial malfeasance. Lawson also has resigned as treasurer of the Owen County Republican Party.

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