Forty-nine-year-old Wendy Stephens of Elm Creek was charged this week in Buffalo County Court with one count of theft totaling more than $1,500, a class III felony.
Stephens was arraigned Tuesday. According to court records six altered checks had been discovered during an audit of the Elm Creek village funds.
On Monday, a Buffalo County Deputy Sheriff visited Stephens to ask why the checks had been altered.
Stephens told the deputy she wrote the checks for bills the village didn’t need to pay. She and a village board member would then each sign the checks. Before sending the checks Stephens would white out the “Pay to” portion of the check, write “Visa” in its place and then change the amount to pay her credit card bill.
The six checks were written for more than $1,000 each and totaled $10,518.
Stephens is scheduled to undergo a preliminary hearing in Buffalo County Court on February 10th. She remains free on $2,000 bond. If convicted, she could face up to 20 years in prison.
By Brent Wiethorn, KKPR, Kearney