Former assistant city clerk pleads guilty to stealing $160,000 from small community of Flordell Hills, Missouri

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The former assistant city clerk of Flordell Hills, Missouri on Monday admitted stealing $159,903 from the small, struggling city.

The guilty plea of Donna Thompson, 76, to one mail fraud and one wire fraud charge follows by one day the plea of the former city clerk, Maureen Thompson, 68, to the same charges.

Both women admitted writing about 614 city checks to themselves from roughly February 2016 to April 2022 without the authority or knowledge of the mayor, the treasurer, or the board of aldermen. They forged the signature of the mayor and/or the treasurer on the checks.

Thompson admitted that roughly 246 checks were written to her.

Woodson and Thompson cashed some checks and deposited some into their personal bank accounts. They used the money for personal expenses and to gamble both in person and online.

They also used city checks or wire transfers of city funds to directly pay the rent for their shared home in Florissant as well as for entertainment, federal taxes, and bills at restaurants and stores.

Thompson admitted fraudulently receiving $159,903 and Woodson admitted obtaining $487,673.

Thompson is scheduled to be sentenced on May 17 by U.S. District Judge Rodney W. Sippel in U.S. District Court in St. Louis. Each charge carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. She will also be ordered to repay the money.

Woodson was hired in 2010 and Thompson in 2012. Both women were terminated in May of 2022.

Flordell Hills is roughly six blocks square, has an annual budget of about $400,000, and a population of about 800. Approximately 53.9% of those residents live below the poverty line, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The FBI investigated the case.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Hal Goldsmith is prosecuting the case.