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Iowa woman pleads not guilty to federal, state fraud charges

People can make mistakes from time to time. In certain situations, a responsible person might do something that’s completely out of character. The reality, however, is that these mistakes can have incredibly serious consequences.

Not long ago, a Masonville woman pled not guilty on several charges, which are based on accusations that she used her professional role to steal public funds. Prosecutors claim that the woman started siphoning city funds in 2002 by issuing unapproved checks to herself. After almost 10 years, it's said that the woman took almost $80,000.

The woman appeared in Iowa and federal courtrooms to plead not guilty to the theft and fraud charges. Federal authorities are going after her based on accusations that she completed and submitted fraudulent financial reports for the city in two consecutive years.

Authorities say that the woman told them that she took the funds with the intention to pay them back by not issuing her own paychecks. However, that became impossible when her husband lost his job. Out of financial desperation, the woman may have simply slipped to deep into this problem. This aspect of the story might play a role in the final outcome in the case, perhaps in terms of sentencing.

It's important to remember that any statements made to police can be used as evidence. As such, it may be helpful to retain the services of an attorney to avoid accidental self-incrimination. Even though the woman may have made statements to law enforcement about her actions in this case, she is still entitled to a strong criminal defense.

Source: The Des Moines Register, "Former Masonville clerk pleads not guilty in theft of $80,000," March 22, 2014

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