Former City of Wheeling HR Director Teresa Hudrlik Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud
WHEELING — Former Wheeling Human Resources Director Teresa Hudrlik has pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, U.S. Attorney Bill Powell announced today.
Hudrlik, 48, of Valley Grove served as Wheeling’s Human Resources director. During her tenure, she admitted to using a city-issued purchasing card to make personal purchases, without authorization. Hudrlik also admitted to altering receipts and documentation to disguise said purchases, giving herself payroll bonuses without authorization, and causing unauthorized payroll payments in the names of other city employees to be deposited into personal banking accounts Hudrlik controlled. The crimes occurred from June 2016 to March 2018 in Ohio County.
“We count on our public employees to operate as hardworking and honest public servants. The vast majority meet or exceed those expectations. Those who violate the sacred public trust must be discovered and prosecuted in accordance with the rule of law. This defendant will now be punished for her conduct. The City of Wheeling is to be commended for their cooperation in this matter,” said Powell.
The government is seeking a money judgement in the amount of $50,000. As a part of the plea agreement, Hudrlik has agreed to pay restitution to the City of Wheeling in the amount of $80,000.
“The City of Wheeling fully cooperated with the State Auditor, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to identify the matters raised in the Information and to hold this person accountable for orchestrating a very complex scheme. The discrepancies and concerns were found at one of the earliest possible junctures in the process of a routine audit. This was an administrator in a position of trust and the mechanics of the actions involved with these matters was quite sophisticated and not easily detectable. The immediate actions the City has taken to review policies and institute procedural safeguards regarding fiscal controls underscores the City’s commitment to protect taxpayer dollars and seek to assure the public that such activity was isolated to this particular employee. The City is aggressively pursuing full restitution of any fraudulent activity with regard to this matter. The City refers any additional questions to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for The Northern District of West Virginia,” said Robert Herron, City Manager, the City of Wheeling
Hudrlik faces up to 20 years incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
U.S. Magistrate Judge James P. Mazzone presided.