Crimetracker: Former employees indicted for stealing $40,000 from New Market

NEW MARKET, Tenn. (WVLT) - An investigation by the State Comptroller's office found two former employees of New Market stole $40,000 from the Jefferson County town.

Investigators say the town's former recorder, Melissa Robin Parker, withdrew a more than $25,000 certificate of deposit from the town’s account and converted the money into cashier’s checks, payable to her husband.

The investigation also revealed that Parker issued at least $13,793 in unauthorized payroll checks to herself, then deleted computerized accounting records to conceal her crime.

When confronted by investigators, Parker said at least some of the misappropriated funds were used to help support an unsuccessful personal business venture.

Investigators also found that Sammy Bailey, an employee in the town’s public works department, used a city fuel card to make gasoline purchases for his personal use totaling at least $1,285. Because the town didn’t closely monitor fuel purchases, Bailey’s actions went undetected for nearly a year.

The Jefferson County Grand Jury has indicted Parker on two counts of theft over $10,000 and four counts of official misconduct. The Grand Jury later indicted Bailey on one count of theft over $1,000, two counts of official misconduct and one count of fraudulent use of a credit card.

Investigators determined that the city lacked proper safeguards that could have prevented Parker and Bailey from stealing the funds.
Parker was given sole authority to oversee all aspects of the town’s finances. Having more than one person involved in financial transactions provides checks and balances that make it more difficult for any one person to misappropriate funds.

Also, investigators noted that the town should have more closely monitored how and when expenditures on city fuel cards were made.
Town officials vowed to take corrective action, including requiring the mayor and an alderman to sign off on all city checks and checking all fuel purchases on a monthly basis.


Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to webmaster@wvlt-tv.com. Please provide detailed information.

powered by Disqus

WVLT VOLUNTEER TV

6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2014 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 240600081