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Missouri tax collector pleads guilty to embezzling $300K

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – The U.S. attorney’s office says a former central Missouri tax collector has pleaded guilty to embezzling about $300,000 in taxpayer funds.

Former Callaway County Collector Pamela Oestreich pleaded guilty Monday in federal court to one count of stealing. U.S. Attorney Tim Garrison says the 59-year-old Fulton woman took taxpayer money for her personal use on more than 100 occasions starting in September 2015.

Oestreich resigned from office March 15 after being confronted by local and federal investigators. Local officials said the unusual financial activity was first brought to their attention by Jefferson City-based Central Bank.

State Auditor Nicole Galloway said Monday that Oestreich used a “shell game” to transfer money among various accounts and try to cover her tracks.

A sentencing hearing will be scheduled later.

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