MIAMI COUNTY, Ind. – A township trustee in Miami County faces multiple charges after investigators said she wrote checks to herself totaling nearly $42,000.
Khristie Worl, 50, turned herself in Thursday at the Miami County Jail and has since bonded out. She faces felony counts of corrupt business influence, theft, fraud and official misconduct.
In February, the Miami County Sheriff’s Office initiated an investigation into Worl’s conduct with the Clay Township Trustee’s Office at the request of the Indiana State Board of Accounts.
According to the probable cause affidavit, the investigation found Worl had written checks from the trustee office’s account to herself from 2019 through 2022.
Worl’s annual salary as a trustee was $3,600; investigators said she overcompensated herself by $600 in 2019 and another $600 in 2021.
Further examination of financial records belonging to Worl and the trustee’s office found she wrote 14 checks from the Clay Township trustee checking account in 2021 totaling $14,200. Twelve of them were deposited into her personal checking account; the total liability from 2019 through 2021 was $15,400—the amount of the checks plus the overcompensation.
In 2022, investigators discovered Worl wrote 21 checks totaling $30,000 to herself and deposited them into her personal checking account, according to court documents. When accounting for her annual trustee’s salary of $3,600, the total liability for 2022 was $26,400, investigators said.
In all, Worl is accused of taking $41,800 in township money for personal use.
Other officials in the township had questioned Worl about some of the expenditures, although they “never observed the checks written to her personally.”
The investigation also revealed that Worl provided the trustee’s office account balance from a personally prepared document instead of a bank statement during a March 2022 meeting. Her accounting showed the township had an ending 2021 balance of more than $85,000, while bank records reflected a different balance.
During an interview with a detective from the sheriff’s department, Worl admitted she deposited township money into her personal account, according to court documents. She told investigators most of the checks were for $1,500 each, with others in the amounts of $1,000 or $500.
Worl said she “was having financial hardships and intended to reimburse the township when she was able to obtain a personal loan,” according to the probable cause affidavit. Investigators said she cooperated with their investigation.
Worl was appointed in 2019 and elected to a second term in 2022.