Rockford's Independent Newspaper

Winnebago County Coroner Bill Hintz accused of stealing money from dead people

A dozen new charges announced

ROCKFORD — Winnebago County Coroner Bill Hintz is facing a dozen more criminal charges, including allegations that he stole from the estates of dead people.

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced Thursday that a Winnebago County grand jury has indicted Hintz on six counts of official misconduct and six counts of theft of government funds.

“The defendant has demonstrated a clear pattern of using the office of the Winnebago County coroner to line his pockets,” Raoul said in a news release. “The defendant’s actions took advantage of grieving families and abused the trust of Winnebago County residents. I am committed to ensuring he is held fully responsible to the public he deceived.”

Prosecutors allege that Hintz, 51, stole approximately $14,500 in cash that belonged to deceased people out of the coroner’s office’s evidence vault.

According to the indictment, Hintz claimed that he released some of the money to the county administrator. However, there is no evidence to support that claim or to show the money was deposited into the coroner’s office’s accounts, Raoul said. He is also accused of pocketing about $2,500 from families who paid cash for the remains of loved ones who had been cremated at the county’s expense.

Hintz is already facing 23 counts of misconduct, 12 counts of forgery and two counts theft. Those charges are connected to 2020 allegations that he and his wife, Michelle Hintz, fraudulently used a Winnebago County credit card and gasoline card.

The Attorney General’s office is prosecuting the case based on a referral by the Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office.

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