A former Campbell County Treasurer’s Office employee is accused of altering documents to steal $39,586 in vehicle taxes.

Marcella R. Hall, 34, has been charged with felony theft. She made her initial appearance in Circuit Court on Wednesday, and a preliminary hearing has been set for 4 p.m. Dec. 17.

Campbell County Treasurer Rachael Knust began investigating the case in early September after a customer had questions about a transaction. When employees tried to find the transaction, they found the date was incorrect. As they investigated, they found more anomalies, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in the case.

Treasurer’s Office records showed that between December 2018 and September 2019, Hall had altered 39 receipts from people who had paid their vehicle taxes. She would change the dates on the receipts to a weekend date because the those were not included in weekly accounting reports, according to the affidavit.

Cash taken by Hall was not accounted for in any audits, documents say.

Each month, Hall would change the transaction dates to the following month. It means she allegedly was changing the transaction dates of several receipts each month, moving them all from one month to the next, according to the affidavit.

Knust told police that the accounting practice the office used then was to run an audit at the end of each month that showed all days — including weekends. Because the transaction dates were moved first to a weekend, and then to the following month, “the transactions, and the money taken by Hall, were not seen in the audits,” according to the affidavit.

Hall told police that she started taking money because she had a bill she couldn’t pay. She said she paid back the first one or two thefts, but didn’t pay back any after that.

“This is consistent in that the first two transactions appear to only have the dates changed one time,” according to the affidavit. “The remaining 37 transactions are changed every month from the time they are created until September of 2019.”

Hall’s bond was set at $3,000 cash or surety.

Felony theft carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

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