MADIGAN: FORMER ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF SALINE COUNTY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE NONPROFIT PLEADS GUILTY TO FRAUD
Charges Alleged Defendant Illegally Obtained State & Federal Grants
Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced the former assistant director of a Saline County non-profit domestic violence shelter pleaded guilty to falsifying records to obtain state and federal grant funding and using charitable funds for personal purposes.
The former assistant director of the Anna Bixby Women's Center, Terrie Wingo-Eichorn, 52, of Elizabethtown, pleaded guilty today to one count of wire fraud, a Class 3 felony, and one count of personal use of charitable funds, a Class 2 felony. Wingo-Eichorn will be sentenced Oct. 24 by Saline County Circuit Court Judge Walden Morris.
Wingo-Eichorn and her mother, Barbara Wingo of Golconda, were the directors of the Anna Bixby Women's Center until 2015 when both were charged by Madigan for submitting falsified documents to the state to obtain grant funding. The Center, based in Harrisburg, is a nonprofit domestic violence shelter serving Gallatin, Hardin, Pope, Saline and White counties. Wingo's trial is expected to begin in October.
"Public funding and charitable donations were supposed to support the center's critical work of helping women rebuild their lives following violence, but the defendant was not providing those services and used public resources for personal benefit," Madigan said. "She is being held accountable for abusing her position."
Madigan alleged that in 2014 both defendants ordered employees to falsify documents that showed the center was providing domestic violence counseling in order to receive state and federal grant funding through the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, the Attorney General's Office, the Illinois Department of Human Services, the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Madigan also alleged the defendants committed loan fraud by submitting false documentation to obtain a $100,000 loan to fund the operation of Salon 716, located in Harrisburg, which was owned by their company, I. Downey Inc. Madigan alleged the defendants submitted false documents to their lending bank fraudulently claiming the Anna Bixby Women's Center received donations from the salon.
Additionally, Madigan alleged Wingo-Eichorn used more than $1,000 in charitable funds from the Glenn Poshard Foundation to benefit abused children during the 2013 Christmas season to purchase personal items, including computers and a 32-inch LCD television with a Nintendo Wii.
The cases were investigated by Madigan's office, the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of the Inspector General. Assistant Attorneys General Jonas Harger and Michael O'Brien and Associate Directors James S. Dorger and Louis Dolce are handling the cases for Madigan's Public Integrity Bureau.