Zionsville disputes unmade payment claim, fraud investigation underway


The Town of Zionsville is disputing a claim from the owner of the firm that operates the ice-skating rink at Mulberry Fields Park that the town failed to make a payment for services.

​According to a police report obtained by Current, the owner of Ice-America, Scott Williams, contacted the Zionsville Police Dept. on Jan. 23, claiming the town had failed to make payments.

​Town officials, however, say the town made a $59,000 payment on Jan. 23 for an invoice received from Ice-America. The invoice, according to town officials, requested a change of payment method, via electronic transfer, to a bank in West Fargo, Minn.

The chain of events has led to a fraud investigation by the Indiana State Police.

Cindy Poore, deputy chief financial officer for the Town of Zionsville, could not immediately be reached for comment. Williams at Ice-America was not available for comment. Zionsville Police Dept. Capt. Drake Sterling said the investigation is ongoing and has been turned over to the Indiana State Police.

“We’ve actually passed it off, as of Jan. 26, to State Police, only because we don’t want to investigate our own fraud,” Sterling said. “We didn’t feel that it was appropriate, and we wanted to avoid any conflict of interest.”

The Town of Zionsville issued the following statement:

“The Town previously received an email from Scott Williams directing the Town to make payment via electronic transfer. The email originated from Mr. Williams’ official Ice America email account. The email also copied another Ice America employee. The Town had no reason to suspect any fraud with the email instructions coming from Mr. Williams’ Ice America email. When the Town was made aware of this, the Town offered to work with Ice America. The Town notified law enforcement and financial institutions and took diligent steps to address this matter.  While the Town has enjoyed its relationship with Ice America and would like to continue engagements into the future, the allegations made by Mr. Williams do not present the situation accurately. The Town believes it has fulfilled its obligations to Ice America.”

Jason Plunkett, president of the Zionsville Town Council, released a statement expressing the council’s disappointment about how it was alerted to the situation:

“I won’t comment on this open investigation. What I will say is that this is the first time anyone on the town council is hearing about it. Our concern and frustration with the administration for the last three years have been around communication or lack of communication. This is another example of no communication. We should not be hearing about this type of situation through a police report or a reporter. “

This story will be updated as more details become available.