Zieler completes embezzlement payments

Published 8:01 pm Thursday, April 26, 2012

Former Polk County Tax Office employee Jenny Zieler appeared in a Polk County Superior Court administrative session April 18. Her probation was terminated because of the completion of payments.
Zieler pled guilty in December 2009 to embezzling $49,744 from the tax office while she was employed. She was sentenced to 13 to 16 months, with the sentence being suspended for her to serve three years of supervised probation and the requirement to pay back the money.
The embezzlement in the tax office, which was initially referred to as an “irregular transaction,” was discovered in 2006. County officials said a tax office employee had altered tax records through abatements, allowing reductions of property tax owed with no documentation to back up the reductions. The fraudulent transactions were said to have taken place between 2003 and 2006.
Zeiler’s was the second embezzlement since 2002 in the tax office. Polk County has since installed new practices and security cameras to avoid any future fraudulent acts.
Polk County has been the victim of several embezzlements since 2000, with employees in the register of deeds office, the school system and the sheriff’s and tax offices being convicted of embezzlement. All cases ended with guilty pleas and suspended sentences with probation and restitution.