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6-15-16

Commission demands
Willard repay funds;
seeks prosecution
County wants treasurer to personally cover
the loss; criminal investigation sought

by Ivan Foley
Landmark editor

Platte County commissioners are demanding repayment of money from the county treasurer and are asking the county prosecutor’s office to investigate a potential criminal charge against the treasurer for his action in wiring $48,200 to an email scammer recently.

Commissioners have sent a letter to Rob Willard, Platte County treasurer, demanding that he personally pay back approximately $20,000. The $20,000 represents the yet-to-be recovered amount of the total $48,200 fraudulent transaction. The county was able to recover about $28,200 of the money by working through its bank’s fraud department.

Willard’s wire transfer of $48,200 in county funds to an email scammer occurred on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend (see related story on front page).

The letter to the treasurer, hand-delivered on Tuesday, indicates that if Willard does not personally repay the money within a week the county commission will pursue action against the treasurer’s surety bond. The county prosecutor would be the office to file the claim on the bond, county officials indicated.

A separate letter sent to Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd indicates that it appears to the county commission that a state statute was violated by the actions of the county treasurer in the May 27 transaction. The commission asks the prosecutor to investigate the matter for a potential criminal charge.

If so, statutes indicate it would be a misdemeanor charge.

For updates on this story, follow The Landmark on Twitter @ivanfoley.