Ex-Wood River finance official gets 3 years in prison for embezzlement

Jul 25, 2012

A southwestern Illinois city's former assistant finance director has been sentenced to three years in prison after she admitted stealing nearly $143,000 on the job.

A Madison County judge on Wednesday also ordered 42-year-old Leslie Dona to repay the money she stole from Wood River, a city of 11,000 northeast of St. Louis. She had worked for the city for 17 years.

Dona pleaded guilty to a felony count of theft by deception.

Authorities contend Dona issued unauthorized checks to herself from city funds and pocketed the money, altering software, destroying records, manipulating funds and generating false reports to hide the transactions.

Officials say her theft eluded yearly audits by outside accounting firms and surfaced only after she made an unrelated bookkeeping gaffe.

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