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Women Steal $290K From Order Of Eastern Star

Last updated on Tuesday, April 24, 2012

(NEWBURGH) - Indiana State Police have arrested a mother and daughter for embezzling over $290,000 from the Order of the Eastern Star.

In April, 2011, State Police received a report from Vanderburgh County Eastern Star members that over $200,000 was missing from their account. Between May, 2005, and February, 2006, the Eastern Star received more than $280,000 from an estate.

State Police report that 79 year old Marilee Garrison of Newburgh was the organization's treasurer from July, 2002 through June, 2008.

Garrison's daughter, 36 year old Susan Hilgeman of Newburgh took over the treasurer's position in July, 2008.

Investigating officer, State Police Detective Alan Sherretz, found that between 2004
and 2008 Garrison had issued numerous unathorized checks to Hilgeman totaling more than $290,000 and that Hilgeman forged documents to represent bank statements in an attempt to hide the missing funds.

Hilgeman was arrested Thursday afternoon at her Newburgh residence. Her mother, Marilee Garrison, was arrested Friday morning after she turned herself in at the Vanderburgh County Jail.

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