Former Gratis official accused of faking breast cancer

Former Gratis official faces new felony charge

Serrer Phillips is a former fiscal officer of Gratis who pleaded guilty to two counts of theft in office and one count of tampering with records after an audit by the state showed more than $62,000 was missing or misspent. She was sentenced to probation and served three months in the local jail.

Phillips was released because she said that she had to breastfeed one of her children. When she was required to return, she said that she had breast cancer.

The Preble County Sheriff's office obtained Phillips' medical records and said that she was lying about the cancer.

Phillips was served with the new forgery indictment before she took the stand Tuesday during a hearing on the original case. She testified that she plans to pay restitution today for the theft in office case. She will also serve 90 days in jail.

Phillips once was responsible for keeping track of utility payments and making deposits to the village's bank account. She also served as the mayor's court clerk, and investigators said she did not deposit thousands in fines, bonds and court cost payments in 2009 and 2010.

From 2008 through 2010, Phillips was responsible for keeping track of utility payments and making deposits to the village's bank account. A reconciliation of the utility bills and deposits found that Phillips did not deposit utility collections totaling $44,900 into the village's bank account. A finding for recovery in this amount was issued against Phillips.

Neither Phillips nor her attorney wanted to discuss the case Tuesday.

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