Wife enters guilty plea in Willow Springs case
Shelley Ausherman, wife of former Willow Springs Township treasurer Bruce Ausherman, has pleaded guilty to one count of theft from a program receiving federal funds. The crime carries a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Ausherman was charged in October following an FBI investigation. In a plea agreement dated Nov. 21, she admitted stealing more than $114,000 from the township between October 2002 and December 2004.
According to the plea agreement, Ausherman helped her husband with his duties as township treasurer. She would write out township checks payable to "T.C."-- the initials for her farm, Tauy Creek -- and deposit them into her personal account at U.S. Bank. When the checks eventually were returned to the Aushermans by the township's bank, she would conceal the theft by writing over the letters "T.C." to make it appear the checks had been written to other businesses.
The "stealing federal funds" charge related specifically to a $7,212.19 check written in early October 2004, which she admitted writing without her husband's knowledge. That year the township received more than $10,000 in federal emergency-management funds between December 2003 and November 2004.
She will be sentenced Feb. 6 and is free on $25,000 bond.