MADIGAN ANNOUNCES CHARGES AGAINST DIRECTORS OF SALINE COUNTY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE NONPROFIT
Attorney General Alleges Defendants Illegally Obtained State & Federal Grants, Stole Charitable Funds for Domestic Violence Assistance
Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced charges against the directors of a Saline County non-profit domestic violence shelter for falsifying records to obtain state and federal grant funding and stealing charitable funds for personal profit.
Madigan alleged that as directors of the Anna Bixby Women’s Center in Harrisburg, Barbara Wingo, 76, of Golconda, and her daughter, Terrie Wingo-Eichorn, 50, of Elizabethtown, submitted falsified documents to the state to obtain grant funding to provide fictitious counseling services to domestic violence victims.
Wingo, the organization’s executive director, was charged in Saline County Criminal Court Monday with one count of organizer of a continuing criminal financial crimes enterprise, a Class X felony, one count of continuing criminal financial crimes enterprise, a Class 1 felony, two counts of financial institution fraud, a Class 2 felony, one count of loan fraud, a Class 2 felony, one count of wire fraud, a Class 3 felony, three counts of forgery, a Class 3 felony, and one count of personal use of charitable assets, a Class 2 felony.
Wingo-Eichorn, the assistant director, was charged with one count of continuing criminal financial crimes enterprise, a Class 1 felony, two counts of financial institution fraud, a Class 2 felony, one count of loan fraud, a Class 2 felony, one count of wire fraud, a Class 3 felony, two counts of forgery, a Class 3 felony, one count of personal use of charitable assets, a Class 2 felony, and one count of money laundering, a Class 3 felony.
The Anna Bixby Women’s Center, based in Harrisburg, is a nonprofit domestic violence shelter serving Gallatin, Hardin, Pope, Saline and White counties.
“The defendants betrayed the trust of the taxpayers and charitable foundations who intended their donations to help survivors of domestic violence as they attempt to rebuild their lives,” Madigan said. “We will prosecute this case to ensure justice is achieved.”
Madigan alleged that in 2014 the defendants ordered employees to falsify documents that showed the Center was providing domestic violence counseling in order to receive state and federal grant funding through the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, the Attorney General’s Office, the Illinois Department of Human Services, the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Madigan also alleged the defendants committed loan fraud in submitting false documentation to obtain a $100,000 loan to fund the operation of Salon 716, located in Harrisburg, which is owned by their company, I. Downey Inc. Madigan alleged the defendants submitted false documents to their lending bank fraudulently claiming the Anna Bixby Women’s Center received donations from the salon.
Additionally, Madigan alleged Wingo-Eichorn used more than $1,800 in charitable funds from the organization to purchase personal items, including computers and a 32-inch LCD television with a Nintendo Wii. Madigan alleged further that Wingo-Eichorn stole portions of donations to the Women’s Center distributed from the Glenn Poshard Foundation that were awarded to benefit of abused children during the 2013 Christmas season.
The cases were investigated by Madigan’s office, the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of the Inspector General. Assistant Attorney General Jonas Harger and Associate Directors James S. Dorger and Louis Dolce are handling the cases for Madigan’s Public Integrity Bureau.