Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

February 15, 2013

Embezzlement charges: Grand jury indicts former Bluefield CFO

BILL ARCHER
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

PRINCETON — A Buchanan County, Va., man who served for a time as Bluefield’s chief financial officer has been indicted on embezzlement charges by a Mercer County grand jury.

Claude Coleman Crigger Jr., 52, of Oakwood, Va., was named in an indictment alleging that he embezzled $5,500 from the Holiday of Lights and Ridge Runner funds.

“Both of those funds were all-cash accounts,” Mercer County Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ash said.

According to Ash, a special agent with the West Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations investigated the case. He added that the return on Crigger’s indictment is Feb. 25.

The state police initiated its investigation into the embezzlement of city funds in November 2012, according to previous reports. At that time, City Attorney Brian Cochran reported that the Internal Revenue Service had levied three of the city’s bank accounts for penalties related to late payments and filings of employee payroll taxes. The levies occurred during a time when Crigger was serving as Bluefield’s CFO.

Crigger had not informed the city administration about the potential IRS exposure and when he met with city officials on Nov. 19, 2012, Crigger resigned as a result.

Cochran said that the city has worked with the IRS in order to resolve the problems related to the levies.

He said that he thinks that the IRS may return most or all of the funds associated with the levies.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com