CLAIBORNE COUNTY, Tenn. — A bookkeeper in the Claiborne County Circuit Court Clerk's Office stole more than $600,000 and tried to cover up what she'd done, state authorities allege.
A grand jury last week indicted Lesley A. Chumley, 49, on counts of theft, official misconduct and tampering with government records.
According to the Tennessee Comptroller's Office, Chumley misappropriated at least $618,000 over nearly seven years, starting in May 2015.
She left the Clerk's Office in April. The grand jury indicted her this month.
According to the Comptroller's Office investigation, she used some of the office's collections from people paying fines and court costs for personal use. She was supposed to deposit the money in the bank.
As an example, according to the comptroller, she kept for herself in February of this year almost $11,000 in cash taken in by the office that was supposed to be deposited.
She cited personal financial problems when confronted by investigators, according to the Comptroller's Office.
To hide what she'd done, Chumley created false bank statements that reflected bogus bank account balances, investigators allege.
According to the state investigation, the clerk failed to put in place adequate controls over collections and disbursements.