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Chagrin Falls Clerk Indicted for Embezzling

Statement from the Mayor

As previously disclosed, a former Village employee stole funds from the Village. Yesterday this employee, was charged by the Cuyahoga County Grand Jury with 22 counts of embezzlement. This is a purely legal issue and we will not be answering any questions regarding this matter, all questions need to be directed to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutors office.

I want to assure everyone that their individual water and sewer bills and accounts were not adversely affected in any way by these thefts. The Village is insured for losses of this nature.

We will be making no further comment on this matter until it has been legally resolved.

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Mayor William Tomko

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Press Release

Chagrin Falls Clerk Indicted for Embezzling More Than $238,000 Over Two Decades While Employed in the Village’s Building and Utilities Departments

1/28/2021

CLEVELAND – Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley announced that a grand jury has returned an indictment charging Debbie Bosworth, 53, for embezzling over $238,000 while working as a clerk for the Village of Chagrin Falls.

“Taxpayers expect their money to be handled properly and ethically,” said Prosecutor O’Malley. “Ms. Bosworth exploited her position as a public employee and in the process violated the trust placed in her by the citizens of Chagrin Falls.”

Bosworth was hired in 1997 and served as a clerk for the Village’s Building and Utilities Departments. In her roles she was responsible for payment processing, contractor registrations, building department permits, making deposits, and managing additional departmental accounting tasks.

In November 2019, Village officials noticed financial discrepancies within the Building and Water Departments. They discovered irregularities between the departments’ bank accounts and accounting software, as well as monthly reports provided to the Finance Department. The officials alerted the administration who then forwarded the information to the Chagrin Falls Police Department (CFPD) to investigate.

The investigation revealed that Bosworth stole cash from the Water Department and replaced the missing cash with checks that were to be deposited in the Building Department’s bank account. She then submitted falsified reports to the Finance Department to hide the theft. In December 2019, as allegations came to light, Bosworth altered records on the Building Department’s software program in a further attempt to conceal the crime. CFPD’s investigation uncovered that Bosworth embezzled over $238,000 between January 2000 and November 2019.

Bosworth has been indicted on the following charges:

  • Two counts of Theft In Office
  • Thirteen counts of Tampering with Records
  • Seven counts of Money Laundering

She is scheduled to be arraigned on Monday, March 1 at 8:30 a.m. at the Cuyahoga County Justice Center.