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Prosecutor: Woman stole $450,000 from Carmel-based fraternity

Fraternity theft charges

News 8 at 6 p.m.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A woman who worked for a national women’s college fraternity based in Carmel has been accused of stealing over $450,000 from the group, according to the U.S. attorney for the Indianapolis district court.

Christina Short, 43, of Speedway, had worked as financial coordinator for the nonprofit foundation of Zeta Tau Alpha, which serves thousands of students in 170 college chapters and 200,000 alumnae. The case was filed in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis.

“In 2012, according to the charges, Short began stealing donations. Specifically, the charges allege that the Foundation would receive dozens of donations each month, and each month, Short would pocket several of them, typically money orders. Short would allegedly alter the ‘pay to’ information, making the money orders payable to herself, and then deposit them in one of her several bank accounts. Over time, Short allegedly stole greater and greater numbers of donations. By 2016, she was stealing over 150 donations per year, until she was caught in late 2018,” said a news release from U.S. Attorney Josh J. Minkler.

Short also adjusted the foundation’s records so chapters would know donors were recorded. Also, the donors continued to receive “thank you” cards and tax deduction information, the release said.

Short’s conduct was brought to light when a fraud examiner at her bank noticed what appeared to be doctored money orders deposited into her account, the release said.

The FBI and the Carmel Police Department investigated the case.

Federal prosecutors said Short would face up to 20 years in prison on each charge and payment of full restitution, if convicted.

Short’s case was unsealed Thursday, and the court had not yet released it electronically, so no information was available on her attorney.

No court dates have been set in the case.

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