HAYWOOD COUNTY, Tennessee – A Californian woman was indicted Friday after allegedly stealing more than $ 32,000 from a library in Haywood County.
According to the press release, Shekinah Edwards would have issued 14 checks to her name from the Elma Ross Public Library from May to June 2020. Each of the checks had forged the signature of two library officials. Edwards is said to have deposited the checks into his personal chequing and savings accounts.
Investigators working with the Brownsville Police Department and the Tennessee Bureau on Investigation (TBI) determined that Edwards, who lives in California, had some access to the library’s bank account and screening information. Investigators say she has never been employed by the library and has no apparent connection to employees.
Investigators also determined that the library manager failed to reconcile the library’s bank account each month. Although many fraudulent checks were issued in May and June 2020, the library manager only discovered the problem in July 2020.
According to the press release, when the library board learned of the fraudulent checks in July, the board asked the director to contact police and report the theft. However, the director did not contact the police until September 2020.
The Tennessee Treasury Comptroller said if the bank had been notified of the stolen checks within 30 days, bank officials confirmed there would have been a better chance of collecting all the funds. Not having discovered the fraudulent activity earlier, the library was only able to recover more than $ 9,000 of the $ 32,000.
Edwards was indicted by the Haywood County grand jury on one count of theft.