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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC - Lexington County Sheriff’s Department deputies arrested a 34-year-old Lexington woman on Thursday, July 11 on charges that the woman misappropriated nearly $2,000 in proceeds from a beauty pageant that the woman helped organize on March 17 as a fund raiser to help pay medical bills for Richard Culliver, a Lexington boy who is battling brain cancer.

Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said deputies arrested Kelli Jean Chavis, 34, of 324 Pin Oak Drive, Lexington, on an arrest warrant on a charge of breach of trust with fraudulent intent. Chavis was being held on Saturday, July 13 at the Lexington County Detention Center while awaiting a bond hearing.

An arrest warrant alleges that in February Chavis began collecting donations and fees for a beauty pageant that was held on March 17 at a hotel on Saluda Pointe Court near Lexington, Metts said. All proceeds from the beauty pageant were intended to be donated to Culliver’s family in order to help pay the boy’s medical bills.

The arrest warrant further alleges that financial documents show that Chavis transferred $1,875 from a PayPal account that Chavis had established to receive fees and donations for the beauty pageant to a personal bank account that Chavis controlled, Metts said. Records show that the personal bank account controlled by Chavis was depleted as a result of numerous transactions that Chavis made for personal expenses, such as the purchase of food and alcoholic beverages. Culliver’s family has not received any money from Chavis in proceeds from the beauty pageant that Chavis helped organize as a fund raiser for Culliver.

Stephanie Marie McMillan, who is Culliver’s mother, reported the misappropriation of proceeds from the beauty pageant fund raiser to the Sheriff’s Department on May 7, Metts said. McMillan told deputies that Chavis stated in an April 24 email to McMillan that Chavis planned to send a PayPal card to McMillan so that McMillan would receive the proceeds from the beauty pageant that was held as a fund raiser for Culliver. McMillan never received the PayPal card.

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