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Local News

Elizabethton loan office employee charged with embezzlement

September 19th, 2011 11:50 pm by John Thompson

ELIZABETHTON — The employee of a local loan office was arrested by the Elizabethton Police Department on Saturday following an investigation into embezzlement.
Marvin Birchfield was arrested following a presentment to a Carter County grand jury charging him with one count of theft over $10,000 and five counts of forgery.
The investigation began July 11, after the district manager brought his findings of an internal audit of the office. Detective Chris Bowers said the internal audit was conducted after several discrepancies began to service and several customers disputed the amounts the business records said they owed.
Bowers said the district manager discovered that from May through July, Birchfield had logged onto the system and added various amounts to the loans of existing customers’ accounts. The total amount determined at the conclusion of his investigation was $11,690.70.
Bowers said the district manager pinpointed the dates where the fraudulent additions were made to the customer accounts and determined those dates matched the employee log-ins of Birchfield.
The district manager also provided photographic evidence taken at the business at the times the transactions were modified, Bowers said.
The files for the fraudulent transactions were missing at the time of the internal investigation, Bowers said. A short time later, on July 26, two people traveling on Unaka Mountain discovered a blue tarp covering four large boxes of documents. These records were taken by the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department. It was discovered that the boxes contained the files missing from the Elizabethton business.
Bowers said the Unaka Mountain location where the boxes were found was close to Birchfield’s residence in Unicoi County.

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