Former Velda City treasurer indicted for stealing $400k in city funds

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ST. LOUIS - A federal grand jury indicted the former Velda City treasurer Thursday for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in city funds and additional money from a charity for the hearing impaired.

According to the US Attorney's Office, Venita Sedodo hatched a scheme to steal approximately $400,000 from Velda City from November 2015 to October 2018 while serving as the city's treasurer. Over that time, she wrote 90 unauthorized city checks to herself, which she deposited into her personal bank accounts.

The stolen money was used to pay for personal items and services like clothing and car payments, as well as cash withdrawals and paying off credit card debt. She also used Velda City checks to pay for personal items at area businesses.

In addition, Sedodo worked as a trust secretary for the Travelers Protective Association of America's Scholarship Trust for the Hearing Impaired. Between June 2014 and January 2019, prosecutors allege Sedodo submitted fraudulent grant applications for her family and friends. She created and later submitted phony audiograms and audiological evaluations to support these false applications. She ultimately obtained $156,000 from the TPA Scholarship Trust as a result.

Sedodo was charged with four counts of wire fraud related to her days as the treasurer and an additional four counts of mail fraud tied to her position as trust secretary for the scholarship fund.

If convicted, Sedodo faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each charge.

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