Mother, Daughter accused of embezzling $290,000 - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Mother, Daughter accused of embezzling $290,000

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Susan Hilgeman, Marilee Garrison. Source: Indiana State Police Susan Hilgeman, Marilee Garrison. Source: Indiana State Police

A mother and daughter from Newburgh are accused of embezzling nearly $300,000.

Marilee Garrison, 79, and Susan Hilgeman, 36, are in the Vanderburgh County Jail Friday night. Both women, troopers say, are former treasurers for Eastern Star, a non-profit associated with the Masons.  

There are two chapters in Evansville. This story is about "Evansville 555 Eastern Star".

It all began in April of last year when Eastern Star members noticed hundreds of thousands of dollars was missing, and after a year-long investigation, Indiana State Police made the arrests this week.

The money was left to the Eastern Star back in 2005 and 2006. Since then, police say the mother-daughter team have been draining the non-profit's bank account, the mother first writing checks to her daughter, and then the daughter writing checks to herself.

All told, police say the two stole $290,000, a huge amount of money for such a small organization.

"To get to such large amounts, you need to do it over a period of time and in this particular situation, you had a closed loop where your check and balance was a mother-daughter team," said Vanderburgh Co. Prosecutor Nick Hermann. 

Hilgeman is also charged with forgery. She's accused of forging fake bank statements to cover up the alleged scheme.

 ARRESTED AND CHARGES:

  • Susan Hilgeman, 36, Newburgh, IN
  1. Conspiracy to Commit Theft, Class C Felony
  2. Forgery, Class C Felony
  • Marilee Garrison, Newburgh, IN
  1. Conspiracy to Commit Theft, Class C Felony

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