This scenario has a hint of familiarity, doesn’t it?

Hurley Woman Charged with Stealing Thousands from Iron County

Baihly Warfield
Updated: 08/11/2016 7:51 PM
Created: 08/11/2016 7:33 PM
A Hurley woman working for the Iron County Human Services department has been charged with six felonies and a misdemeanor. Those include five felony theft charges, one misdemeanor theft charge and one felony data modifying charge.

The criminal complaint alleges Mary Tijan stole $185,388.40 from Iron County over the course of nearly three years. It says she systematically submitted invoices for phony businesses that were supposedly doing business with the county. But she would often handle the checks herself, allegedly alter them and deposit them into her own accounts or use them to pay off credit cards she or her husband, Andrew Tijan, owned.
Andrew Tijan has not been accused of any wrongdoing in this case.
The criminal complaint lists specific instances. It says during the search warrant police executed, officers found evidence Mary Tijan requested 28 checks made out to “Juniper Services.” But statements also collected during the search show $58,815.14 actually went to a Juniper credit card she owned.

Red flags went up when Tijan requested four checks made payable to JMA Services in July 2016, the complaint outlines. Another Iron County employee informed Hurley Police Chief Chris Colassaco that the county didn’t have a contract with JMA Services.

Upon further investigation, the complaint says Chief Colassaco “learned that JMA Services correct name is JMA Machining,” which is a small business owned by Mary Tijan, Andrew Tijan, and/or their son.
According to the criminal complaint, Andrew Tijan, while speaking with investigators, said that JMA “is no longer doing business, it had never done business with Iron County, and there was no reason there should be any checks made payable to JMA.”

The complaint also outlines how Mary Tijan used Iron County money to pay for some of her son’s tuition at Gogebic Community College. There were two invoices involved, according to the complaint. The first invoice said it was for “Tuition=Children & Families,” and the second read, “Foster Care Child Tuition.”

A credit card belonging to Iron County Human Services also had unauthorized transactions at places such as Walgreen’s, K-Mart, Amazon and others. The complaint alleges the credit card was also used for dental work.
According to the criminal complaint, an investigation into other possible thefts is ongoing.

Eyewitness News reached out to Mary Tijan, the head of the Human Services department, the chair of the Iron County Board of Supervisors, the prosecutor on the case and the Hurley Police Department. No calls or emails were responded to.

Tijan’s employment status with the county is not clear. She is still listed as “financial manager” on the Iron County Human Services staff page.
She faces fines and jail time if convicted.

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