Former Union County city recorder charged with theft from city funds

Tennessee Comptroller's Office said former Luttrell city recorder wrote 140 checks to herself and family members.

WATE 6 On Your Side staff - LUTTRELL (WATE) - An investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller's Office revealed a former Luttrell city recorder misappropriated at least $120,506 in city money.

Rebecca Ailor was indicted for theft and tampering with evidence by a Union County Grand Jury on May 18. The comptroller's office said she admitted to investigators she wrote unauthorized checks for her personal benefit, falsified signatures and falsely recorded many of the payments to hide their true purpose.

Investigators found Ailor wrote 140 city checks to herself or family members from city funds from September 11, 2012 to February 12, 2016 by falsifying the vice mayor or mayor's signature. They also said she recorded checks as payments to legitimate city vendors and sometimes prepared false documentation to support some of the unauthorized payments.

After the investigation began, the comptroller's office said Ailor deleted computerized financial records. However, the city's financial software vendor was able to retrieve data. Ailor told investigators she needed the money and was trying to make ends meet.

"It's important for city officials to provide oversight of the financial process," said Comptroller Justin P. Wilson. "Not only was one person responsible for issuing checks, recording disbursements and depositing collections, city officials did not review bank statements. This allowed this scheme to go undetected for more than three years."

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