Accounting specialist arrested on federal charges after allegedly embezzling more than $270,000 from WFYI Media

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis woman faces federal charges after allegedly embezzling more than $270,000 from WFYI Public Media in Indianapolis.

According to the United States Attorney’s Office, 52-year-old Mindi B. Madison, of Indianapolis, has been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

According to court documents, Madison began working as an Accounting Specialist for WFYI Public Media (“WFYI”) in January 2018.

WFYI owns and operates Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Media, Inc., and provides television and radio programming throughout central Indiana.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office explained, that as an Accounting Specialist, Madison had access to WFYI’s accounting software and was trusted to present legitimate expenses, claims, invoices, and supporting documentation along with the unsigned WFYI checks to employees at WFYI who had signature authority for their approval and signature. Investigators say Madison presented 156 fake claims.

Instead of presenting legitimate claims that arose out of WFYI’s legitimate business expenses for signature and payment, Madison abused her position of trust and presented at least 156 fake claims and invoices for payment.

In an effort to conceal the theft from WFYI and its banking institutions, Madison, and a person referred to as “Individual 1” in documentation, agreed that Madison would falsify invoices using versions of Individual 1’s name and businesses connected to her.

Madison then tendered WFYI checks to Individual 1, and they agreed that Individual 1 would then deposit the checks into Individual 1’s bank accounts. Individual 1 then withdrew Madison’s portion in cash, and they split the illegal proceeds.

Both Madison and Individual 1 used WFYI’s stolen funds for their own personal expenditures including but not limited to, rent, restaurants, groceries, fuel, and utilities. In total, Madison embezzled approximately $270,876 from WFYI before her theft was discovered.

Madison will make her initial appearance in federal district court on September 15th at 10 a.m. If convicted Madison faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.