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ROCKFORD — A northern Illinois coroner has been indicted by a grand jury on charges that include stealing more than $14,000 from dead people.

According to the indictment on multiple counts of official misconduct and theft of government funds, Winnebago County Coroner Bill Hintz stole cash belonging to dead people from the coroner's evidence vault and pocketed about $2,500 he required family members to pay to recover the cremated remains of homeless loved ones.

"The defendant's actions took advantage of grieving families and abused the trust of Winnebago County residents, Illinois General Kwame Raoul said in a statement this week announcing the indictment.

The charges reported by the Rockford Register Star come nearly a year after Raoul's office charged Hintz with several counts of official misconduct, forgery for allegedly spending money on hotel rooms, car rentals and other expenses unrelated to official county business.

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According this week's indictment by a Winnebago County grand jury, Hintz maintained that he released some of the money to the county administrator but Raoul's office said it found no evidence that Hintz had, in fact, done that.

Hintz did not respond to a request for comment that The Associated Press left with his office on Friday afternoon.

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