PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - The director of the Greene County Community Fund was sentenced to probation after pleading guilty in court on Friday to stealing thousands of dollars from the organization.
Kera Ladawn Crafton of Paragould faced a charge of theft of property greater than $25,000 as part of the investigation done by the Arkansas State Police.
According to court documents filed on May 8, the investigation began after money from the Greene County Community Fund's bank account were noted to have "numerous suspicious debit card transactions" at an ATM on April 9, 2018.
During the investigation, an agent with Arkansas State Police discovered the money was being taken using two debit cards. One card for each of the organization's accounts.
Investigators said, in total, Crafton embezzled $42,410.87. Investigators used records from 2014 to 2018 to determine how much money Crafton took.
Once board members confronted Crafton, she admitted to the theft. She said she would repay the money. Court documents show she deposited $25,000 into the group's bank account on April 10.
Investigators also discovered that Crafton had attempted to conceal thefts in 2014. The first unauthorized use and an altered document was on Aug. 18, 2014. The GCCF's debit card was used at Payless Shoes. The second altered record was from an ATM withdraw.
On May 18, Crafton appeared before Judge Barbara Halsey and pleaded guilty to theft of property great than $5,000 but less than $25,000.
Judge Halsey sentenced her to 3 years of probation.
Crafton will have to pay restitution on the $42,410.87 she stole. As noted previously in this story, she paid $25,000 on April 10.