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Burr gets jail time for stealing from fire department

A woman has been sentenced to 45 days in jail and probation for stealing from the Weingarten Volunteer Fire department.

Last week, Clara Burr was sentenced to 45 days in jail and five years probation on charges involving her theft from the fire department while she served as the part-time treasurer.

Burr, 33, of Ste. Genevieve, was employed full time at the MRV Banks location in Ste. Genevieve.  According to documents filed with the court, the department claims that Burr stole at least $98,000 by writing unauthorized checks to herself, by making unauthorized expenditures with the department’s credit card and by stealing money from the department’s ladies auxiliary fund account.  

Burr admitted that she continued taking the money until April 2009, when the department discovered her actions. Approximately $50,000 of the stolen money represented the proceeds of two loans in the department’s name which Burr obtained fraudulently from the MRV Banks and then deposited into the department’s account so she could write more unauthorized checks.

She pleaded guilty in June to a federal offense which prohibits stealing from a local governmental entity which received federal funds. In March 2008, the department received grant money in the amount of $187,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The purpose of the grant was to enable the department to purchase new vehicles and equipment.   

Burr was sentenced by United States District Judge Jean Hamilton who ordered Burr to pay restitution totaling $90,573.41.  

The restitution payments will go to the fire department and its Ladies’ Auxiliary Fund as well as the bank where, in addition to the false loans, Burr left a shortage in her teller drawer when she was let go. 

This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s department. Assistant United States Attorney James E. Crowe handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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