Former Niles employee charged in embezzlement

Niles tax office

NILES, Ohio (WKBN) — A routine audit in the city of Niles has led to charges against a longtime former employee.

Phyllis Wilson, 61, a former employee of the Niles City Treasurer’s Office, was indicted Thursday on theft in office charges. Prosecutors allege she embezzled $71,000 from the city.

Prosecutors said Wilson, who retired last summer, was discovered to have stolen the money after a routine audit by the state turned up discrepancies.

“It was just a random check, a random sampling. And after they found that, they started working backwards and they went back to all of 2013 and 2012 and they came up with a substantial amount of money missing,” said Niles Police Capt. Ken Criswell.

Authorities said several cash deposits made by Wilson showed a significant amount of money was found missing each time.

“I was shocked. I still don’t want to believe it,” said City Auditor Chuck Nader.

Nader said this news could not come at a worse time for Niles. Both income tax and property tax collections are down, which has an effect.

“It hurts. Ten dollars would hurt, but $71,000, the alleged amount, it has an impact on us,” Nader said.

Wilson is expected to be arraigned next week. If convicted, she could face up to 36 months in prison.

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