INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Center Township Trustee Eugene Akers is dealing with another scandal involving stolen taxpayer money. In this case it is more than $66,000.
The Trustee’s office accepts Social Security checks for people who are unable to manage the money.
According to investigators, instead of paying the bills for needy clients, Carmen Batts-Porter, an employee of the Trustee, used some of that money to take a trip to Miami.
Federal prosecutors say Batts-Porter took money from 11 victims over a five year period, including taking from a foster child whose parents were dead.
“Instead of doing what she’s supposed to do with the money,” said federal prosecutor Brad Blackington, “she took the money, wrote checks to pay off her Target credit card bill.”
Just last year, the CFO in the Trustee’s office, Alan Mizen, was charged with stealing $343,000.
Prosecutors see a pattern.
“It is time for the Center Township Trustee’s office to police themselves,” said acting U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler, “and clean up their own mess.”
Trustee Eugene Akers says he just ordered an audit, and sees himself as a victim, too.
“They got me again, got me again,” said Akers, “two employees that I would not have imagined would do anything like that.”
Carmen Batts-Porter is the daughter of state Representative Greg Porter.
Reached by phone, Representative Porter called this a family matter and declined further comment.
The FBI, meantime, says that public corruption cases are their top priority and that this one was easy to crack.
“It’s a simple embezzlement scheme,” said Blackington. “This one wasn’t rocket science.”
According to the criminal complaint filed in federal court, Carmen Batts-Porter admitted to investigators that she used Social Security money to pay for personal bills.
She was arrested, appeared before a judge, and is currently free pending a formal indictment.