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Mitchell Woman Sentenced To Federal Prison After Embezzling Funds From Monroe County Jail

Last updated on Wednesday, December 7, 2016

(INDIANAPOLIS) - A former Monroe County Jail administrated pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $260,000 in county funds.

Karen Sue Bridges was indicted in the fall of 2015 on one charge of embezzlement, three charges of mail fraud and three counts of wire fraud. Bridges had worked at the jail for 20 years.

She pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement Tuesday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis. The other charges were dismissed in a negotiated plea deal.

According to court records, Judge Sarah Evans Baker sentenced 46-year-old Bridges, of Mitchell, to 18 months in federal prison, six months on house arrest and then 18 months on supervised probation. She will be jailed in a facility close to her home so her two teenage daughters can visit her.

She was ordered to repay the $263,932.71 she stole over an 8 year period from 2007 until June 1, 2016. She was also ordered to complete 12 days of community service after she is off house arrest. Bridges must also undergo mental health counseling.

According to the federal indictment, Bridges stole envelopes containing cash bond payments from a safe that only she could access and then created fake invoices for inmate medical care to get refund checks for overpayments.

She also took cash from the She also took cash from inmate commissary funds, money left for prisoner to buys items while incarcerated. She told officials the inmates were just "vulnerable victims" since no one believed them when they reported their money was gone.

Bridges told officials she couldn't remember what she spent the stolen money on, just that she used the cash to supplement her income, "a means to maintain a lifestyle beyond her means".

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