Thursday, February 23, 2017

Embezzlement charges dropped against former Bruton High School bookkeeper

Six embezzlement charges have been dropped against Bruton High School’s former bookkeeper, who was accused of opening an unauthorized corporate credit account in the school’s name and making purchases with it over a span of four and a half years.
Prosecutors made a motion to drop the charges, including five felonies and a misdemeanor, against Charlene Flood-Liggon in York-Poquoson General District Court Tuesday afternoon.
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jacob Lambert asked to drop the charges because the “commonwealth had insufficient evidence” in the case. The charges were nolle prossed, meaning the prosecution will not pursue the charges unless more evidence comes to light.
Flood-Liggon, 54, of Newport News, worked as a bookkeeper at Bruton High School, handling cash and checks from “every aspect” of the school, including athletics, arts, field trips and more, according to court documents.
According to the criminal complaint, Bruton High School’s principal, Arletha Dockery, started to become suspicious of Flood-Liggon when she noticed several years’ worth of cash deposits missing from the high school’s bank account.
The police investigation, which started last June, tied Flood-Liggon to $4,731.56 in purchases on an Amazon Corporate Credit account, court documents state. The purchases spanned from Dec. 14, 2011 to April 5, 2016.
The School Board terminated her employment when the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office opened the investigation, according to court documents.
When Dockery was cleaning out Flood-Liggon’s desk, she discovered an Amazon statement addressed to the former bookkeeper, documents state.
“While Dockery has only been principal at BHS for one year, she did not recall there being an authorized account for the school,” the criminal complaint states.
The account was created by Flood-Liggon “under the guise of purchasing for BHS,” and the bookkeeper opened a line of credit in the school’s name, the document states.
Dockery worked directly with Amazon to get account statements from as far back as December 2011, which were all addressed to Flood-Liggon using the school’s address at 185 E. Rochambeau Drive, according to the criminal complaint.
Flood-Liggon was charged on Aug. 3 with six counts of embezzlement, at the completion of the investigation.

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