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Ex-public official, wife indicted

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011, at 12:09 a.m.

The former public works director for Barber County and his wife face federal indictment on charges that they diverted vehicle purchases from the county to a private company and sold them for cash.

Steven E. Collier, 49, of Nashville has been charged with four counts of theft from a program receiving federal funds, three counts of interstate transportation of stolen property and three counts of sale of stolen property.

Collier's wife, Diana L. Collier, 58, of Medicine Lodge, is charged with four counts of theft from a program receiving federal funds, two counts of interstate transportation of stolen property and four counts of sale of stolen property.

U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said Friday that the indictment accuses Steven Collier of buying vehicles with county money and diverting them to Bar-Shaw Trucking and Excavating LLC, which was incorporated by Diana Collier.

According to the indictment, the couple sold two trucks, a bulldozer and a tractor for more than $94,000, including:

* A 2003 International truck purchased with county funds from Advantage Truck Sales Inc. and delivered to Diana Collier. The purchase price was $11,750. The truck was titled to Bar-Sha Trucking and Excavating and later sold by Collier for about $10,000.

* A D4H bulldozer from Prescoe Equipment, Inc. , paid for with a forged invoice submitted to the county for $28,350. Collier later sold the bulldozer for $26,000.

* A 2000 Chevrolet dump truck owned by Barber County. The vehicle title was transferred to Bar-Sha Trucking for a reported sale price of $5,000. County records show no payment was received for the truck. The truck was sold for $12,000.

* A John Deere 6400 tractor owned by Barber County. Steven Collier told other employees the tractor had been traded for other equipment. County records show no payment was received for the tractor. Collier listed the tractor for sale online and sold it for $20,000.

If convicted, the couple could face 10 years in federal prison and $250,000 in fines on each count.

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