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Friday, July 27, 2012

LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC - Lexington County Sheriff’s Department detectives on Friday, July 27 charged a 39-year-old Lexington woman with misappropriating more than $200,000 from a Lexington trucking company, where the woman formerly worked as the company’s human resources manager.

Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said Lori M. Caldwell, 39, of 109 Red Maple Court, Lexington, turned herself in at about 8:30 a.m. on Friday at the Lexington County James R. Metts Law Enforcement Complex, 521 Gibson Road, Lexington, on an arrest warrant on a charge of breach of trust with fraudulent intent involving more than $10,000.

Caldwell was being held on Friday at the Lexington County Detention Center while awaiting a bond hearing, Metts said. Caldwell is scheduled to appear in court at 3 p.m. on Friday for a bond hearing, which will be conducted at a courtroom that is adjacent to the front entrance of the county Detention Center at the Law Enforcement Complex.

An arrest warrant alleges that between January 1, 2008 and April 2012 Caldwell submitted false and fraudulent expense reports to Southeastern Freight Lines, where Caldwell worked as the human resources manager, Metts said. The trucking company entrusted Caldwell to submit advertisements for trucking trade industry magazines in order to seek applicants for jobs with the trucking company.

The arrest warrant further alleges that Caldwell created false invoices on her trucking company computer and fraudulently submitted the invoices for payment as expense checks that totaled $284,491, Metts said.

In addition, the arrest warrant alleges that the $284,491 that Caldwell misappropriated from the trucking company was deposited directly by the trucking company into Caldwell’s personal checking account, and Caldwell used the money to pay for her personal expenses, Metts said. Detectives are continuing to investigate how Caldwell spent the money that she misappropriated.

Under South Carolina law, breach of trust with fraudulent intent is a felony that carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison, Metts said.

The trucking company’s staff legal counsel reported the misappropriation of money to the Sheriff’s Department, and the company cooperated fully with detectives, Metts said. Accounting employees with the trucking company discovered that Caldwell had misappropriated money.

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