The former Callaway County Collector pleaded guilty in federal court this week to embezzling nearly $300,000 from Callaway County taxpayers.

According to information from the U.S. Attorney's Office, 59-year old Pamela J. Oestreich, of Fulton, MO, waived her right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty on Monday (Sept 24) to a charge of one count of stealing from an organization that receives federal funds.

“On more than 100 occasions, this public official stole directly from the people she was elected to represent,” said U.S. Attorney Tim Garrison. “She will be held accountable for violating the public trust and abusing her position. The government will seek a significant prison sentence and repayment of what was stolen from the taxpayers of Callaway County.”

Oestreich was elected as the Callaway County Collector in November 2002.  By pleading guilty, the U.S. Attorney's Office says Oestreich admitted that she disbursed taxpayer funds for her personal use on 103 occasions beginning in September 2015.

Oestreich reportedly deposited taxpayer funds directly into her personal bank account and also moved taxpayer funds between Callaway County bank accounts to conceal her theft of cash deposits made by taxpayers at the Callaway County Courthouse.

The total amount embezzled was $299,387.

Oestreich resigned from her office on March 15, 2018, when confronted by the Callaway County Sheriff and FBI agents.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, the government and Oestreich have agreed that she will face an advisory sentencing guidelines range of 41 to 51 months of imprisonment in the federal prison. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a pre-sentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

A press release from the U.S. Attorney Office, Oestreich’s sentence will include mandatory restitution of the stolen funds. During the course of her theft, she reportedly made payments totaling $19,430 from her personal bank account into Callaway County Collector accounts to hide her theft.

The amount of restitution due to Callaway County as a result of her criminal conduct is $279,957.

JaggedPixels/ThinkStock