Yesterday, local certified fraud examiner, Greg Wright, retold the sad chapter of the Indianapolis Public Library when Juanita Lynn Hoagland, a former accountant for the municipal corporation, skimmed more than $455,000 in late book return fees over a period of many years, a discovery made by the Indiana State Board of Accounts, which recently announced it would no longer audit libraries and some other local governmental entities because it lacked the resources it needed to audit them. In a follow-up to his research, Wright informs Advance Indiana of an even more grim discovery. It turns out that the state Attorney General's Office in 2005 agreed to release Hoagland from all but $22,200.00 of a judgment it obtained against her in the Marion Circuit Court on January 15, 1991 after Hoagland filed for bankruptcy.
On January 23, 2004, Attorney General Steve Carter's office obtained a final garnishment order in the amount of $455,991 against Hoagland, whose name had changed to Juanita Mimms after she remarried on November 18, 1999. Mimms filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on June 3, 2004. The Attorney General's office intervened in her federal bankruptcy case to contest Mimms' attempt to discharge the debt she owed for the embezzled funds. The Attorney General's Office entered into a settlement agreement with Mimms on January 7, 2005 in which it agreed to reduce the debt she owed to $22,200. Mimms agreed to repay the $22,200 through monthly payments of $300, allowing her to repay the debt without interest over a period of a little more than six years. Andrew Swain with the Attorney General's Office confirmed to Wright that her judgment had been fully satisfied in 2011.
According to a database of state employees made available online courtesy of the Indianapolis Star, Mimms is currently employed by IUPUI in Equal Employment Opportunity Construction Support earning over $54,000 a year. According to Mimms' Linked in account, she has been working for IUPUI for over the past 16 years. She was released from prison in April, 1989 after serving only a fraction of her three-year prison sentence according to Wright's research. In an e-mal to Wright, Swain wrote, "I'm sorry to say that the $455,991 judgment was satisfied before my time overseeing SBOA cases." Swain continued, "I would have rather given the person relief for the full amount, given her a 1099-C, and handed it to the IRS to chase her for the taxable income as a result of the cancellation of debt."
UPDATE: The more I think about this case the more I'm reminded of that old Seinfeld episode about Mr. Bookman, the library cop. Here's the clip to refresh your memory. Apparently there was no Mr. Bookman working at the Indianapolis Public Library all of those years that Juanita had her hands in the till.
UPDATE II: Juanita lied on her original job application at IUPUI about her past criminal conviction. It doesn't look she's working there anymore. It only took a little over 16 years to learn the truth. Better late than never.