PORTLAND – A Jay County woman has pleaded guilty to diverting more than $86,000 in public funds and spending it on personal indulgences during her time as a local trustee.
Katina Miller pleaded guilty this month in federal court to one count of wire fraud. The Bryant woman had been indicted in January on two wire fraud counts, the Muncie Star Press reported.
Miller was a township trustee in Jay County's Bearcreek Township from 2015 through 2018. Her indictment alleged that she used the township's two debit cards and wrote unauthorized checks to herself, eventually using a total of $86,755.39 “to pay her own personal, unauthorized charges.”
Under her plea deal, Miller agreed to pay $86,755.39 to the township “as well as any insurance company who had paid any claim based on my fraud.”
A State Board of Accounts audit released after Miller left office accused her of using $131,503 in township funds for personal expenses, including costs stemming from vacations to New Orleans and other locations. That audit also found she used public funds to buy jewelry, clothing and electronics.
A federal judge in Fort Wayne accepted Miller's plea. She is scheduled to be sentenced May 12 on the wire fraud count, which carries a maximum 20-year prison term and $250,000 fine.