The Crusader Newspaper Group

Genesis Convention Center bookeeper charged with theft

Feds accused Victoria Wilson of stealing 10k from facility

Crusader Staff Report

A bookeeper at the Genesis Convention Center has been charged with theft from a local entity that receives federal funds.

Victoria Wilson, 52 of Portage, had been accused of stealing $10,000 in cash from the convention center, according to U.S. Attorney Thomas Kirsch in a news release on Tuesday, August 27.

According to state records, Wilson was hired as the center’s bookkeeper in February 2017 and served as interim executive director from August 2017 through February 2018, court records state. Kirsch alleged Wilson used her position to steal cash between March and October 2017.

Kirsch said Wilson has entered into a plea agreement with authorities. As part of the agreement, Wilson must pay $12,727 in restitution to the City of Gary.

The agreement must be approved by a federal judge in Hammond.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the assistance of Indiana State Police and the Indiana State Board of Accounts. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Abizer Zanzi.

Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson released a statement after Wilson was charged with one count of theft.

“The administration and the City Council have worked hard to insure the profitability of the Genesis Center,” Wilson said in a statement. “Any actions inconsistent with those efforts are unacceptable.”

The good news is that the internal audit process and internal controls are working. The Internal Auditor continues to hold city employees to high standards.

“We will continue to strengthen our internal controls to minimize the possibility of any other incidents like this occurring. At the same time, we are always disappointed when employees breach the public’s trust and confidence. We will also continue to conduct audits and refer findings to the State Board of Accounts and all other authorities when appropriate. We are additionally pleased that U. S. Attorney Thomas Kirsch has included restitution in the plea agreement.”

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