Audit confirms former school bookkeeper stole $20K - WKRN News 2

Audit confirms former school bookkeeper stole $20K

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HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. -

The former school bookkeeper of Beech Elementary School in Hendersonville stole more than $17,000 from the school and nearly $2,000 from the school's picture vendor, an investigative audit confirmed.

Penny Knight was indicted by a Sumner County grand jury in April on two counts of theft, one count of money laundering and nineteen counts of forgery.

Investigators found that between July 2008 and September 2010, Knight used more than $13,000 in school funds to pay her personal bills and loans as well as to pay for personal purchases of electronics, groceries and other items.

She concealed her activity by creating false invoices and other documents, while altering others, investigators said.

Knight also forged the signatures of school personnel on the invoices, receipts and checks.

According to investigators, Knight had complete control over school collections once they arrived to the elementary school's office.

"It is deplorable whenever officials in positions of public trust abuse those positions, particularly in cases in which money intended to be spent on children is involved. I commend our investigators and the Sumner County Sheriff's Department for their work in bringing the issues raised in this audit to light," Comptroller Justin P. Wilson said.

Knight worked as a bookkeeper at Beech Elementary School for 14 years.

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