Retired treasury employee charged with embezzlement in Traverse City

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News
The Michigan Treasury Department said Friday the state’s general fund tax revenue is coming in $274.8M below previous estimate.

A retired state Treasury employee is facing embezzlement charges following a two-year investigation by the Michigan Department of Treasury and the Attorney General’s office.

Cheryl Anne Hall of Traverse City is charged with embezzlement by a public official of $50,000 to $100,000, three counts of identity theft, three counts of allowing a false statement to be made in a tax return, and three counts of larceny by conversion.

A warrant was issued Friday for the 63-year-old woman out of 86th District Court in Sutton’s Bay.

Hall was a general office assistant working in the cashier area of the treasury's Traverse City field office before her retirement in June 2016, said Treasury spokesman Ron Leix.

She had worked for the state for 37 years, 21 of which were spent with the Treasury. 

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel

Authorities were first alerted to the issue by a taxpayer “who noticed payment discrepancies,” according to a statement from Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office.

After an internal investigation determined a “sophisticated payment scheme,” the Treasury Department referred the issue to the Michigan State Police and the Attorney general’s office.

The Treasury Department believes fewer than 100 taxpayers working with the Traverse City office were affected, all of whom have been made whole, Leix said.

Authorities believe the alleged crimes spanned several years prior to Hall's 2016 retirement, said Nessel spokeswoman Kelly Rossman-McKinney. 

Anyone submitting returns in Traverse City who believes they may have been a victim can call state troopers in Cadillac at (231) 779-6040.

“While it’s incredibly disappointing to know that a former state employee appears to have taken advantage of her position to enrich herself, I am incredibly proud of the work our team of investigators did to bring this case to light. I know justice will prevail,” Nessel said in a statement.

Rachael Eubanks is becoming state treasurer under incoming Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks said she was proud of the quick action taken by staff, who have since improved the state’s technology and procedures.

“State of Michigan employees are expected to be honest, transparent and good stewards of the public’s money,” Eubanks said in a statement. “When they aren’t, they must be held accountable.”

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