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$85,000 reportedly embezzled at clinic

March 27th, 2014 9:30 pm by Brad Hicks

$85,000 reportedly embezzled at clinic

Billie Brackins

ERWIN — A Unicoi County woman was arrested Thursday after officials with the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department said she stole more than $80,000 over a five-year period from the local veterinary clinic at which she worked.

Billie Kay Brackins, 41, 129 Harris St., was charged with theft of property over $60,000 but less than $250,000. It is alleged Brackins took approximately $85,423.29 in cash from Unicoi Animal Hospital from between October 2009 and February.

“She was the one that was in charge of handling the money, documenting the transactions and making the deposits,” UCSD Chief Investigator Ronnie Adkins said.

On Feb. 10, the hospital’s owner decided to handle the daily receipts and finances since Brackins had left earlier that day due to illness, Adkins said. Adkins said this was the first day the owner noticed money was missing, noticing $400 in cash was missing for the day.

Adkins said this triggered hospital staff to look back over their recent books, and they discovered $4,100 in cash was missing. On Feb. 26, hospital staff contacted the UCSD to report the missing money.

After making this report, hospital staff conducted a more extensive examination of the business’ records, dating back nearly five years to when the current owner took over the hospital, Adkins said. He said they found more than $85,000 was missing.

“The examination of the books revealed there was money missing for the entire five years the present owner had been operating,” Adkins said.

The investigation led to Brackins, and she was charged on a presentment by a Unicoi County grand jury Tuesday. Adkins said Brackins only took money from cash transactions made at the hospital.

Following her arrest, a $25,000 corporate bond was set for Brackins. Adkins said Brackins was released on bail and is scheduled to appear in Criminal Court on April 28.

Adkins said Brackins was a 15-year employee of the hospital but has been terminated. He also said thorough recordkeeping on the part of the veterinary clinic’s staff aided investigators.

“Because they kept good records, they were able to discover the missing money,” he said.

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