Big Sandy Employee Allegedly Stole Money From Taxpayers

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The former recorder for the town of Big Sandy allegedly stole more than $4,000 from the town, according to Tennessee Comptrollers.

That woman, Morgan Martinez, allegedly stole this money between July 2018 and March of this year, according to a Comptrollers’ finding, which they released Wednesday.

“The theft included a $3,600 check that she wrote herself as an unauthorized maternity leave pre-payment, a $137.50 reimbursement for a training class that she did not attend, and a $377.24 personal purchase of an iPad and keyboard that she made using the town’s credit card,” according to the Comptrollers’ press release.

“Investigators are also questioning $4,848.40 in payroll payments that were made to Martinez. Martinez was paid for time that she did not work, and she received overtime and regular pay that was not supported with timesheets. The Mayor terminated her employment with the town on March 8, 2019.”

Tennessee Comptroller Justin Wilson said the investigation revealed numerous internal control deficiencies within the town.

“These problems include failing to reconcile bank statements, not issuing receipts, signing blank checks, and not adequately separating money handling responsibilities between individuals,” the press release quoted Wilson as saying,” he added. “These weaknesses put public money at risk.”

This month a Benton County Grand Jury indicted Martinez on one count of theft over $2,500, one count of theft over $1,000, four counts of theft under $1,000, and one count of forgery, the press release said.

In a recent audit, Tennessee Comptrollers found another alleged instance of fraud, this time in Spring Hill.

Authorities indicted that former Spring Hill finance department employee and charged her with various charges related to her alleged theft of more than $1,500 of other people’s money.

That woman, Deanna Jones, had access to that money through her work as an accounts receivable specialist, according to an audit Tennessee Comptrollers released this month.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to chrisbutlerjournalist@gmail.com.
Photo “Woman in Handcuffs” by houstondwiPhotos mp. CC BY-SA 2.0.

 

 

 

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