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Former Altoona City Clerk Pleads Guilty to Fraud - KOAM TV 7

Former Altoona City Clerk Pleads Guilty to Fraud

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ALTOONA, KANSAS - "I think it would impact any town. With an embezzler, people embezzling money," Owner of the Prairie Nut Hut, Rhonda Rohr said."

Former Altoona city clerk, Chrystal Scherbarth, pled guilty Wednesday to defrauding the city of nearly $48,000. 

"And she hurt our town. Because we're a poor town anyway," one resident said. "And so I think that she needs to pay for what she has done."

Scherbarth admitted to fraudulently increasing her hourly and over-time pay, as well as crediting herself with unearned vacation and sick leave.  

The theft cost the city roughly $47,800.

"That's not right," Altoona resident Cassie Geisler said. "There's so many different things that money could have gone to. The roads need to be fixed, for one. That money could have gone to that."

City officials declined to comment on the guilty plea, not wanting to effect any future legal action.

According to the Wilson county sheriff's department, the state is in the process of charging the former city clerk an additional count of manufacturing meth.

The wilson county sheriff's department was unwilling to comment.. And KBI officials were unavailable when contacted.  

But even with a guilty plea and possible one million dollar fine, there's no guarantee the city will ever get their money back.

"I don't think they're really gonna get their money back out of it," Rohr said. "I just hope she pays for the crime."

"Hopefully [the city] can get what they're owed and return and that she gets prosecuted for what she did," Geisler said. "Cause there's quite a bit that could have been done around this city with that money."

Scherbarth's court date for the manufacturing of meth charge is March 6th.

Sentencing for the count of bank fraud takes place April 29th.

The bank fraud offense holds a maximum penalty of more than 30-years in jail and a fine of up to one-million dollars.
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