CLAIBORNE COUNTY, Tennessee (WVLT) — An investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office has concluded with the indictment of former Claiborne County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office accountant Lesley Chumley.

Investigators have determined that Chumley embezzled “at least $618,404” from the office between May 2015 and February 2022, according to a statement from the Office of the Comptroller.

The Clerk’s Office collects fines and other court costs from the Circuit, General Sessions, and Claiborne County Juvenile Courts. According to the release, Chumley did not file collections.

“For example, in February 2022, Chumley handled bank deposits on at least four different days, withholding $10,947 in cash for his personal use. Chumley admitted to investigators that she made court collections and used the money due to personal financial issues,” officials said.

Chumley also allegedly created fake bank statements, so it appeared the bank account totals were higher than they actually were.

“The former accountant was responsible for maintaining accounting records, reconciling bank statements and preparing deposits,” Comptroller Jason Mumpower said. “These tasks must be separated between several people in order to reduce the risk of fraud. The court office should also stop using a signature stamp to affix the court clerk’s signature to cheques.

Chumley left office in April of this year. She was charged with one count of theft over $250,000, one count of official misconduct and one count of destroying and falsifying government documents.

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