Ex-bookkeeper accused of stealing from Jonesborough business

Johnson City Press • Updated May 21, 2020 at 5:03 PM

A former bookkeeper for a Jonesborough tractor repair company was jailed Thursday on charges that she embezzled more than $20,000 using a company credit card and defrauded the business’ insurance plan.

On Monday, a grand jury handed down a three-count indictment against Kelly Diane Richey, 45, Afton. She turned herself in Thursday.

In a news release, Sheriff Ed Graybeal said the charges resulted from an investigation that began earlier this year at Valley Tractor Repair Company. He said Richey illegally used a company credit card to make online purchases in support of her own personal business.

Investigators also alleged that Richey had used the company credit card for other reasons that include buying groceries online, placing orders through Amazon and making payments on her own utility bills. Richey was accused of using the credit card more than 200 times for more that $21,000 in purchases from May 2019 to March 2020.

The sheriff also said Richey used her role as the bookkeeper to secretly add her daughter, a part-time employee, to the company’s health insurance policy in April 2019, which resulted in a loss to the company in excess of $3,000.

The charges included:

• theft over $10,000 regarding the credit card;

• theft over $2,500 regarding the insurance; and

• violation of the Tennessee Fraudulent Insurance Act.

Richey was released from the Washington County Detention Center under $10,000 bond. A Criminal Court hearing was set for July 27.