Illinois coroner allegedly used Winnebago County credit cards on hotels, car rentals

A former Illinois coroner pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges that he used his position to steal money from taxpayers and indigent individuals from Winnebago County, officials said.

William Hintz, 52, pleaded guilty to the theft of government property greater than $10,000 and less than $100,000 and official misconduct based on forgery. 

Attorney General Kwame Raoul filed charges in October 2020, alleging that as Winnebago County's coroner, Hintz and his wife used county funds for personal expenditures.

Additionally, Hintz allegedly spent more than $10,000 on hotel rooms, car rentals, gasoline and tolls unrelated to county business from April 2018 to July 2020, authorities said.

Raoul filed charges against Michelle Hintz in October 2020, saying that she was directly involved with the unauthorized use of her husband's county credit cards.

Hintz also allegedly altered and submitted various hotel billing statements to the county in order to support what he said to be authorized credit card spending.

He allegedly created a fake conference agenda in an attempt to prove his participation in a conference in New York. However, there was allegedly no evidence of his registration or attendance.

Illinois State Police began investigating Hintz over the alleged fraudulent use of the county's gas and credit cards.


After the initial 2020 indictment, ISP investigators received additional information that Hintz allegedly stole around $2,500 from families of individuals who had been cremated at the county's expense, prosecutors said.

Hintz was sentenced to 180 days in jail and a total of 48 months of probation. 

Additionally, he is ordered to pay $32,817.05 in restitution. 

On Wednesday, Hintz also resigned his position as Winnebago County coroner.

"The actions of this former public servant are reprehensible. While grieving families were mourning the loss of their family members, the defendant was busy defrauding them and the taxpayers of Winnebago County," Raoul said. "Public officials who break the trust of the public they serve need to be held accountable."

The case against Michelle Hintz is currently pending.