2015-09-15 / Front Page

Case Against Former Auditor Goes To Court October 28 In Terre Haute

by Michael Stanley
Staff Writer

Angie Lawson Angie Lawson Former county auditor Angie Lawson, 57, will soon have her day in court as a federal court judge considers her request to plead guilty to using county owned Walmart credit cards to buy more than $300,000 worth of merchandise for herself and her family.

Lawson is scheduled to appear for a plea and sentencing hearing at the U.S. District Courthouse in Terre Haute on Wednesday, October 28, at 10:00 a.m. The court is expected to hear her plea and if accepted, sentencing will be handed down by U.S. District Court Judge William Lawrence.

Lawson faces five counts of theft, alleged to have occurred from March 1, 2010 to December 31, 2014. Any theft prior to 2010 is beyond the statute of limitations.

She was arrested at her home and indicted in mid-February, but was released on her own recognizance.

According to a petition to plead guilty filed June 11, 2015 by Terre Haute attorney Jessie A. Cook, Lawson has received a copy of the indictment, read and discussed the document with Cook, and understands every accusation made against her.

The petition further states no government representative at the state, federal or local level has promised or suggested she would receive a lighter sentence, probation or form of leniency if she pleads guilty.

“I hope to receive probation, but am prepared to accept any punishment permitted by law which the court may see fit to impose,” she attested. “However, I respectfully request the court consider in mitigation of punishment at the time of sentencing the fact that by voluntarily pleading guilty, I have saved the government and the court the expense and inconvenience of a trial. I understand that before it imposes sentence, the court will address me personally and ask me if I wish to make a statement on my behalf and to present any information in mitigation of punishment.”

In the petition, Lawson notes she wishes to plead guilty as charged to counts one through five of the indictment. She also requested and consented to a pre-sentence investigation by the probation officers of the United States district courts prior to the entry of her formal plea.

Tim Horty of the U.S. Attorney’s Office says Lawson’s plea will not be official until the court schedules a hearing and formally accepts the plea.

Lawson had the authority to authorize public expenditures on behalf of Owen County during her time as auditor from 2005 through 2012, and as chief deputy auditor from January 2013 through August 14, 2014. Additionally, she served as an atlarge member of the Owen County Council from January 2013 through December 2014.

Alleged loss totals include:

•2010 – $36,720.18
•2011 – $56,376.04
•2012 – $80,847.03
•2013 – $79,240.51
•2014 – $56,415.04

If convicted, Lawson faces up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine on each of the five counts of up to $250,000.

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