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Report: Former Fentress Co. employee stole $240K

Kellye Crabtree turned herself in and was booked into the Fentress Co. Jail. / (TBI)
Kellye Crabtree turned herself in and was booked into the Fentress Co. Jail. / (TBI)(WVLT)
Published: Sep. 4, 2019 at 4:12 PM EDT
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A report from the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury said a former Fentress County counts payable clerk in the finance department has been indicted for theft.

Kellye Crabtree, a former employee with the Fentress County Finance Department, was indicted after investigators said she stole at least $239,680.99 from the county between December 2014 and December 2018.

The report from the comptroller said "the vast majority of the theft ($237,615.99) is associated with Crabtree's use of a Walmart credit card that had been issued to Fentress County."

Investigators said Crabtree used the funds to buy food, cigarettes, personal hygiene items, clothing, electronics, entertainment items, home items, phone cards and prepaid Visa cards and gift cards.

"Crabtree covered up the misappropriation by receiving all credit card statements, issuing payments and manipulation the county's accounting records and budget," the report said.

According to the report, Crabtree also stole $2,065 from a community baseball league which got money from the county.

The county terminated her employment on December 20, 2018, the report said.

Crabtree was indicted on September 3 for one count of theft over $60,000.

“This theft can be directly attributed to giving one person too much control over county funds,” said Comptroller Justin P. Wilson. “Financial duties must be separated between multiple people. One person shouldn’t be able to issue purchase orders, make purchases, receive credit card statements, pay the bills, and maintain the accounting records without sufficient oversight.”

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