Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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December 18, 2012

Bluefield officials confirm investigation underway into alleged embezzlement of city funds

BLUEFIELD — A state police investigation into the alleged embezzlement of approximately $5,000 in cash from the city of Bluefield is underway, officials confirmed this morning.

City Attorney Brian Cochran also confirms that the Internal Revenue Service has levied three city bank accounts for penalties associated with late payments and filings of employee payroll taxes.

Cochran said it was discovered in April 2012 that the city had received previous notice from the IRS that Bluefield would incur this penalty, but the information was not disclosed to the city administration. Although the failure to disclose the information resulted in the city's inability to exercise any possible appeal procedures, Cochran said the city is currently and actively seeking relief from the penalties of approximately $14,000.

“The city has contacted Mercer County Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ash concerning this situation,” Cochran said in the press release. “The results of the state police investigation, as well as any additional information uncovered by further financial auditing of the city's accounts, will be promptly presented to the prosecuting attorney's office for further action.

For more information on the ongoing investigation, and what impact it will have on Bluefield, see Wednesday’s print edition of the Daily Telegraph.

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