Bryan Cohen Jun. 2, 2014, 3:21pm

WABASH, Ind. (Legal Newsline) - Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller's office filed a lawsuit on Thursday against a former Wabash County deputy clerk to recover more than $75,000 in public funds the ex-employee allegedly misappropriated.

Sara Chamberlain, a former county deputy clerk, allegedly misappropriated $75,333.18 from the county clerk's office before she was terminated. The lawsuit seeks the repayment of the funds, plus treble damages and attorney's fees.

"When a government employee in the court system is accused of repeatedly misappropriating the public funds placed in her care, it is a brazen violation of the public trust," Zoeller said. "My office will work diligently through this lawsuit to hold this individual accountable, recover the funds lost and reimburse the public treasury."

A recent audit of the Wabash County Clerk's Office by the State Board of Accounts (SBoA) found that $75,333.18 had been misappropriated from the office. The SBoA alleged that Chamberlain caused cash shortages through various methods, including substituting cash for checks, failing to deposit cash payments received, adjusting payments to disguise shortages and voiding payments.

Zoeller's office obtained a temporary restraining order on Thursday prohibiting Chamberlain from selling, transferring or concealing any financial assets she owns. There will be a hearing on the matter on June 6.

In February, the Wabash County Prosecutor's Office filed criminal charges against Chamberlain of three counts of theft, one count of corrupt business influence and one count of official misconduct.

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