HAMMOND – Mary Elgin, 73, of Gary, Indiana was sentenced before U.S. District Court Judge Joseph S. Van Bokkelen to 12 months and 1 day in prison and ordered to pay $21,311 in restitution, announced U. S. Attorney Kirsch.
Elgin entered a plea of guilty to 2 counts of wire fraud, 1 count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and 1 count of willful failure to file a tax return in April of 2017.
According to documents in this case, Ethel Shelton was convicted of two federal criminal conspiracy charges after a 10-day jury trial and is awaiting sentencing. Co-defendant, Alex Wheeler was found not guilty during the same trial. Elgin’s son, Steven Hunter plead guilty to 2 counts of wire fraud and 1 count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in April of 2017 and is awaiting sentencing. Elgin created an environment whereby employees believed that retaining their jobs hinged on purchasing tickets to her political fundraising events. She used the resources of Calumet Township Trustee’s Office to further her campaign rather than the way they were intended. The Calumet Township Trustee’s Office is a local government entity whose primary mission is to provide emergency relief and assistance to needy individuals and families.
U.S. Attorney Kirsch said, “Public corruption cannot and will not be tolerated at any level. Today’s sentence of imprisonment should send a strong message of deterrence. Citizens expect and deserve officials to act in the best interest of the public, free from self-dealing and illegal self-enrichment. My office, together with our law enforcement partners, will continue to pursue matters involving public corruption. I encourage anyone with information concerning corrupt public officials to contact my office or the FBI.”
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the assistance of Internal Revenue Service. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Maria Lerner, Abizer Zanzi and Philip Benson.