Woman Charged With Stealing $100K From Town of Prospect

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A Waterbury woman is accused of stealing more than $100,000 from a town of Prospect municipal bank account.

Tomechkha Gilkes, 37, of Waterbury, was arrested Thursday and charged with first-degree larceny.

According to the arrest warrant, town officials first notified police of the missing money in November 2018 after a town accountant discovered the missing funds and fraudulent transactions while preparing tax documents.

Prospect Mayor Robert Chatfield said they discovered approximately $250,000 missing from the town's payroll account in November of 2018. He says he immediately called authorities who began an investigation.

The fraudulent transactions dated from December 2017 through November 2018.

"There’s only three things that are supposed to come out of the payroll account a check for town of Prospect employee with two signatures. Money going to the state of Connecticut for their employees taxes. And going to the federal government for the federal taxes," explained Chatfield.

Investigators found multiple Automated Clearing House transactions from the account paid to various companies, including Nordstrom, Acorns Investing, Capital One, Comcast, MTAB, Eversource, Wells Fargo and more. The amounts ranged from as small as $2 to over $2,000 per transaction.

According to the warrant, the payments were traced back to Gilkes, who appeared to be paying off her personal bills and accounts using the town’s money.

Between September and November of 2018, Gilkes name appeared on 108 transactions with a total fraud amount of nearly $35,000 during that time frame.

Police did not specify how they believe Gilkes gained access to the Prospect account.

Chatfield said Gilkes does not and never has worked for the town. He also noted that around $130,000 of the initially missing $250,000 has been recovered.

On Friday, Gilkes' bond was set at $100,000. The warrant is sealed and police said the investigation continues.

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