OGDEN -- The former treasurer of the local chapter of an Internal Revenue Service union has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that she embezzled more than $20,000 from the organization over a two-year period.
The indictment against Shelia S. Brown on two counts of theft from a program receiving federal funds was handed down Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City.
Brown was an IRS employee and treasurer for the National Treasury Employees Union Chapter 67 when money was taken from the chapter's coffers in 2009 and 2010, according to the indictment.
Her duties with Chapter 67 included overseeing union dues and funds, balancing accounts, submitting and writing checks and paying for authorized travel. The IRS provides Chapter 67 with federal funding and subsidies, including $18,849 in free office space in 2009 and 2010, the indictment states.
From January 2009 to April 2010, Brown used Chapter 67's bank accounts for her own use and personal benefit by making unauthorized cash withdrawals, issuing unauthorized checks and making personal purchases with debt cards, according to the indictment. She is accused of embezzling $14,155 in 2009 and $6,549 in 2010, the indictment alleges.
The Standard-Examiner reported in July 2010 that officers with Chapter 67 sent a memo to members, which at the time numbered about 2,000 local IRS employees, informing them an investigation was under way regarding the missing money.
"Unfortunately, chapter funds have been discovered missing," says the memo obtained by the Standard-Examiner.
"The full extent of the loss is unknown, but it appears to be significant. Since discovering the loss, we have been working to secure all chapter resources. We are also doing everything in our power to recoup the losses."
Chapter officers also said in the memo the chapter's financial records were turned over to an independent auditor for a thorough examination to determine the exact amount of the losses.
"As chapter leaders, we take our responsibilities seriously," says the July 2010 memo to chapter members. "We understand it is your dues money we are entrusted with, and we are working diligently to uncover the extent of the loss, determine how that loss occurred and do all we can to correct the situation."
The memo states the chapter also appointed a new treasurer.