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Criminal complaints shed light on alleged illegal activities that led to Winnebago County Coroner and wife’s arrest

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ROCKFORD (WREX) —  Winnebago County Coroner William Hintz and his wife have been charged with forgery and theft.

Criminal complaints obtained by 13 WREX point to alleged criminal activities the Winnebago County State's Attorney's office say led to these charges.

The seven page criminal complaint against Michelle Hintz alleges she used the Winnebago County credit card issued to Coroner Hintz for various unauthorized purchases. The complaint outlines three different charges which happened between January 30th and February 2nd, 2020.

  • Two hotel rooms in Buffalo, New York.
  • Multiple charges for gas at gas stations in Ohio and New York.
  • A charge for "obtaining a vehicle that was secured through Enterprise Rental in Loves Park".

In the seventeen page complaint filed against Bill Hintz, it states he was acting in an official capacity and knowingly committed illegal activities. Those activities range from using the county credit card for unauthorized purchases to allowing his wife to do the same. It also alleges he created multiple forged documents.

  • Fake documents Hintz tried to pass off as some type of receipt or proof of his alleged stay in the Buffalo hotel.
  • A false itinerary for a "New York Death Investigation Seminar" which he alleged he attended between January 31st and February 1st, 2020.
  • A false Winnebago County purchasing card transaction log.

In all of these allegations, the criminal complaint outlines Hintz delivered these fraudulent documents to the county with hopes of deceiving it. In total, the complaint alleges the pair misused $15,818.88 of county dollars.

Authorities say an investigation into the charges began back in February of 2020. The state's attorney's office says the alleged thefts occurred April 7, 2018-July 6, 2020. While the alleged illegal actions stretch back to 2018, the criminal complaint only contains details of incidents that happened in 2020.

Winnebago County State's Attorney's office says Hintz is facing eight separate counts of forgery/altering a document, 4 counts of official misconduct, two counts of theft and two counts of conspiracy.

Hintz's wife, Michelle, faces 3 counts of unlawful use of a credit card, two counts of theft and two counts of conspiracy, according to the state's attorney's office.

Mary Sugden

Mary Sugden is the Investigative Reporter at WREX. She joined the team in December 2014 as the evening producer. In 2015 she made the move to evening reporter before joining the 13 Investigates team in May of 2018.

She grew up in Woodstock, Illinois and graduated from Woodstock High School in 2009. Mary graduated with a degree in Journalism and Marketing from Loyola University Chicago in 2013.

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