SOUTH BEND, Ind. (CBS) — A woman who worked as the head bookkeeper for the St, Joseph County Clerk’s Office in South Bend, is charged with bilking two women out of thousands of dollars in what prosecutors say was an elaborate hoax that went on for years.
44-year-old Kim Savage, prosecutors say, created two fictitious male Marines – Chad Montibriand and Neil Santori – convincing the alleged victims that the fake marines were interested in the women, who deposited thousands of dollars into Savage’s bank account.
Prosecutors said she told the women they were serving overseas, involved in covert operations and that they and needed money for protective gear.
One of the alleged victims said she’s been depositing money into Savage’s account since 2006.
St. Joseph County Clerk Terri Rethlake says nobody in the office can believe it.
“The girls are taking it pretty hard. She was a very kind person here in the office, did her work, nobody ever suspected anything like this of her.”
Rethlake is now having an audit done in the office where Savage was a bookkeeper for seven years.
“We are making sure that everything is upstanding in the office and that there’s no harm to the public.”
Rethlake tells WSBT that she takes it personally.
“Sick, sickened. I was very hurt.”
Prosecutors are looking for other alleged victims.