BY ZACH SPADT
Former Basin Town Clerk/Treasurer Danielle Lampman (formerly Chapman) was arrested Monday after a year-long investigation yielded evidence that she illegally took tens of thousands of dollars from the town and Basin Area Chamber of Commerce while serving as treasurer for both entities.
An affidavit of probable cause alleges a scheme in which Lampman, who had control over both entities’ funds, transferred funds from the town’s bank account into the chamber’s and finally into her personal account.
An anonymous tipster advised a local bank that Lampman was illicitly taking money from the chamber, which led to law enforcement opening an investigation.
Throughout the investigation, Basin Police discovered that Lampman allegedly signed off on nine unauthorized transactions from the town to the chamber totaling $78,000 from May 2015 to December 2016.
Lampman allegedly made the following electronic transfers from the town to the chamber: $5,000 on Nov. 2, 2015; $10,000 on Jan. 19, 2016; $5,000 on Feb. 16, 2016; $5,000 on May 20, 2016; $5,000 on May 31, 2016; $8,000 on June 27, 2016; $10,000 on Aug. 9, 2016; $17,250 on Aug. 15, 2016; and $12,750 on Aug. 31, 2016.
Lampman returned $18,000 to the town, leaving $60,000 missing.
After electronically transferring town funds to the chamber’s account, Lampman allegedly moved the funds to her personal and business accounts over the course of 49 transactions.
Cash withdrawals and checks include 24 transactions ranging from $30 to $800.
Court documents indicate that Lampman made 25 transactions of $1,000 or more from the chamber to herself. The first transaction, a $1,000 check on July 22, 2014, was followed by more checks, cash withdrawals and a money order.
The largest transaction was a check for $11,250 on Aug. 12, 2016 and the last was a $1,000 cash withdrawal on Nov. 23, 2016.
Lampman allegedly transferred a total of $98,000 from the chamber to herself — $78,000 of which originated from the Town of Basin’s accounts and $20,410 from the chamber.
In order to hide her activity, Lampman falsified treasurer’s reports to the Basin Area Chamber and its members according to court filings.
The affidavit further alleges that in June 2016, after Basin Town Council members approved the budget for the upcoming fiscal year, Lampman allocated $22,500 for “economic development” without the council’s authorization.
During the town’s annual audit in June 2016, the discrepancies were discovered and concerned the auditor so much that he couldn’t complete the audit and notified the Wyoming Division of Audit.
Basin Mayor Dennis Peters declined to comment pending advisement from the town’s attorney.
Lampman is charged with two counts of theft of over $1,000, a felony. She faces 10-year prison sentence, a fine of $10,000 for each theft count. She is also facing a $5,000 fine for misconduct while serving as a public official, a misdemeanor.
Lampman appeared in Big Horn County Circuit Court Wednesday morning where Judge Thomas Harrington released her on a $50,000 signature bond. She will appear in circuit court again 10 a.m. Nov. 22 for a preliminary hearing at which time Harrington will determine if sufficient evidence exists to move forward with the case in district court.
Basin Police are continuing the investigation. It remains unclear if further charges will be brought against Lampman.