Secretary at Sheriff's Office arrested on embezzlement charge - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Secretary at Sheriff's Office arrested on embezzlement charge

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The Fayette County Sheriff's Office announce on Friday that a member of their staff was arrested for embezzling service fees.

Detectives with the Sheriff's Department began an investigation into misappropriated funds from the front office back on Thursday, June 20.  That lead to the arrest of Cheryl Lynn Gray, 42, of Oak Hill, who had been working as a secretary at the Sheriff's Office for around two years.  She is facing four felony charges, including Embezzlement, Falsifying Accounts and two counts of Forgery.

"According to the criminal complaint ... Cheryl Gray has been systematically stealing money that was received in the ... Sheriff's Office in payment for concealed weapon permits, copies of reports, home confinement fees, the service of civil process and other services provided by the Sheriff's Office," said Sheriff Steve Kessler.  "In order to cover up this theft Cheryl Gray was allegedly creating and maintaining false receipt books and submitting fraudulent and inaccurate reports to the Tax Office of the Sheriff's Office."

Sheriff Kessler said that detectives have been able to determine that Gray embezzled more than $30,000 over the past several months.

"No tax money collected was affected by this theft," Kessler assured citizens of Fayette County. "Individuals who paid for concealed weapon permits received the permits for which they had paid and individuals received the other services for which they had remitted payment."

"The victim in this case was the Sheriff's Office itself," added Kessler. "The money that was stolen would have been deposited into accounts maintained to supplement the operation of the Sheriff's Office, primarily the Concealed Weapons Licensing Fund Account.  This account is used for multiple purposes, including paying for advanced training for Deputy Sheriffs and purchasing special equipment for use by my Deputies."

The incident is still under investigation by the Detective Bureau of the Fayette County Sheriff's Office.  Anyone who has information about the incident is asked to contact detectives at 304-574-4263.  Tips can also be submitted to the crime tips section of the Sheriff's Office web site. A complete look at Sheriff Kessler's comments about the theft can be viewed at the link to the right.