By Valerie Werkmeister.
Former Poseyville Clerk-Treasurer Chris Lupfer appeared in Posey County Superior Court on Friday, June 22, and pled guilty to eight felony charges that included theft, forgery, credit card fraud and official misconduct.
According to Posey County Deputy Prosecutor Jonathan Parkhurst, she was sentenced to serve four years in the Department of Corrections. That sentence was then suspended to serve six months in the Posey County Community Corrections program. After taking into account good time credit served, Lupfer will serve a total of 90 only days in the Posey County Jail. In addition, Lupfer will be allowed to continue working at her factory job and will only serve her time on her days off from work.
Lupfer was charged in May 2011 after a state audit discovered missing funds and account discrepancies totaling $53,557 in town funds. She initially entered a not guilty plea.
She faced three counts of forgery which are Class C felonies, three counts of credit card fraud which are Class D felonies, one count of theft and one count of official misconduct, both D felonies. Class C felonies can carry a sentence term of two to eight years and Class D felony terms range from six months up to three years.
Posey County Superior Court Judge Brent Almon recused himself from the case. Evansville Judge Maurice O’Connor presided over the case and handed down Lupfer’s sentence.
According to a lengthy investigation by Indiana State Police Detective (ISP) Loren Brooks and State Board Of Accounts (SBOA) auditor, Karla Giesler, Lupfer committed theft during the years of 2008, 2009 and 2010. It was discovered that Lupfer paid herself twice on many pay days by issuing a hard copy check and another check was directly deposited into her personal account. She admitted going out of Poseyville to different Fifth Third Banks to cash or deposit the additional checks to avoid being detected. Giesler determined that Lupfer had altered bank statements from Fifth Third Bank in an attempt to hide the thefts.
Lupfer resigned on December 6, 2010, the same day ISP detectives spoke with Lupfer regarding the thefts. According to the arrest affidavit, she admitted shredding the original Fifth Third Bank statements with the town’s paper shredder after hours.
She also admitted to using the town’s credit card to pay her personal bills that included Insight Cable, Duke Energy and AT& T. In addition, the arrest affidavit stated she transferred money from multiple town accounts to continue to cover up the loss of funds and overdraft fees she incurred.
Lupfer was also assessed with the special SBOA audit at a cost of $15,331.25. The total loss to Poseyville was $68,888.25. However, she was bonded and the town received $45,000 from the bonding company late last year.
Judge O’Connor ordered Lupfer to pay $8,000 in restitution to the Town of Poseyville to cover the shortfall from the bonding company. She will also pay the entire $15,331.25 to the state for the audit. Judge O’Connor added that if the bonding company wished to recover the $45,000 from Lupfer, they would need to file a civil suit against her.
By Valerie Werkmeister.
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