WFYI accounting specialist accused of federal conspiracy to commit wire fraud

INDIANAPOLIS – Mindi B. Madison, 52, of Indianapolis, has been charged by information with federal conspiracy to commit wire fraud in Indianapolis. Madison will make her initial appearance on Sept. 15 at 10 a.m., in Room 349, at the federal court in Indianapolis.

According to court documents, Madison began working as an accounting specialist for WFYI Public Media (“WFYI”) in January 2018. WFYI was owned and operated by Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Media, Inc., and provided television and radio programming throughout central Indiana. Madison’s co-conspirator, Individual 1, was neither an employee nor a vendor of WFYI.

As an accounting specialist, Madison had access to WFYI’s accounting software, and was trusted to present legitimate expenses, claims, invoices, and supporting documentation along with the unsigned WFYI checks to employees at WFYI who had signature authority for their approval and signature, court documents state. Instead of presenting legitimate claims that arose out of WFYI’s legitimate business expenses for signature and payment, Madison abused her position of trust, and presented at least 156 fake claims and invoices for payment. In effort to conceal the theft from WFYI and their banking institutions, Madison and Individual 1 agreed that Madison would falsify invoices using versions of Individual 1’s name and businesses connected to her.

Madison tendered WFYI checks to Individual 1, and they agreed that Individual 1 would then deposit the checks into Individual 1’s bank accounts. Individual 1 then withdrew Madison’s portion in cash, and they split the illegal proceeds, court documents state. Both Madison and Individual 1 used WFYI’s stolen funds for their own personal expenditures including but not limited to, rent, restaurants, groceries, fuel, and utilities. In total, Madison embezzled approximately $270,876 from WFYI before her theft was discovered.

If convicted, Madison faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.

Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, and Herbert J. Stapleton, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Indianapolis Field Office, made the announcement.

Myers thanked Assistant United States Attorney Tiffany J. Preston, who is prosecuting this case.