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Zionsville government waited 2 months to report loss of $59,000 in scam

ZIONSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — The Zionsville town government paid a $59,000 invoice for an ice rink, and the company that installed the rink said it hasn’t been paid.

The temporary ice rink was installed in a field on the outskirts of Zionsville. On Friday, all that remained were some wooden pallets and a vague outline in the snow.

According to a police report, an invoice for $59,000 was sent to the town government with instructions to send a payment to a Wells Fargo bank in Minneapolis. The invoice was presented to Zionsville Board of Parks and Recreation for approval.

John Stehr, the president of the parks board and a Republican candidate for mayor, told News 8, “It came to us as a claim, as we get claims every month. It was a legitimate contract from a legitimate vender for a legitimate expense. We approved it and sent it on to the town finance department for payment.” 

Stehr added, “I think the bottom line here is the town was scammed, the vendor was scammed, and the real criminal is someone else. It would be my best hope that the real criminal would be brought to justice.” 

Cindy Poore, director of the Zionsville Department of Finance & Records, paid the invoice.

However, according to Scott Williams of Ice America, the vendor never received the payment. Williams told I-Team 8 by phone that his company sent an invoice in November, and Zionsville always paid them with a physical check and not a bank wire transfer.

When Ice America didn’t receive a check in the mail, he called Zionsville government to ask questions.  

Williams says someone spoofed an Ice America email account and sent a fake invoice to the Zionsville government. Williams says the email was full of punctuation and grammar errors, and directed the payment be sent to a personal bank account. He says the email had plenty of red flags, and Zionsville officials should have called him before submitting payment.

Plus, the town waited two months to report the incident to police.  

The finance director answers to Zionsville Mayor Emily Styron. I-Team 8 attempted to contact the office of the Democrat mayor, but she had not returned calls by 5 p.m. Friday.

Jason Plunkett, president of the Zionsville Town Council, did not know about the scam or the payment until contacted by I-Team 8.


“This is the first time anyone on the council is hearing about this. Our concern and frustration with the administration for the last three years has been a lack of communication. This is yet another example. We should not be hearing about this type of situation through a police report or a reporter.”

Jason Plunkett, president, Zionsville Town Council