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Former Decatur veterinary clinic worker accused of stealing more than $365,000 says 'not guilty'

Former Decatur veterinary clinic worker accused of stealing more than $365,000 says 'not guilty'

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DECATUR — Angela M. Schmitt, the former office manager at a Decatur veterinary clinic who is accused of stealing more than $365,000 from the business, told a judge she was pleading not guilty.

Schmitt, 34, appeared in Macon County Circuit Court Thursday with her defense attorney, Philip Tibbs. They informed Macon County Circuit Court Judge Phoebe Bowers that Schmitt was waiving a preliminary hearing to see if she should stand trial on a charge of theft over $100,000, a Class X felony.

Bowers assigned the case to fellow Judge Thomas Griffith and scheduled a pretrial hearing for May 4. Schmitt is free on bail of $250,000 after her arrest Feb. 18.

Prosecutors say Schmitt systematically stole the money over a span of 12 years by doctoring accounts to hide what she was doing. A sworn affidavit from Decatur Police quotes Decatur Animal Clinic owner Dr. Alec Messamore as carrying out a detailed probe of his business accounts after another employee had raised the alarm Dec. 3.

Detective Benjamin Massey said Messamore was to discover thefts ranging from $18,000 to $34,000 a year since Schmitt, hired in 2002, began stealing in 2007.

Messamore is quoted as telling Massey that Schmitt was able to get away with it for so long because she had full control for “all the financial aspects” of running the office.

“Dr. Messamore advised that Angela refused to train anyone else in how to do this (billing statements) and would not let anyone else send out statements to clients,” Massey said.


Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid

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