Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

July 25, 2013

Former community action employee charged with theft, forgery

Kenneth Hart
CNHI News Service

OLIVE HILL — A Carter County woman has been charged with embezzling funds from an agency that provides assistance to the area’s needy.

Melissa Black, a former employee of the Northeast Kentucky Community Action Agency, was arrested Friday on 12 counts of theft and forgery, Kentucky State Police at Ashland said.

According to the KSP, Northeast reported in May that one of its former employees had been stealing money from the agency and forging checks issued to its clients. An investigation implicated Black in 55 counts of theft in amounts greater than $500 and 54 counts of forgery, all of which allegedly netted her $75,000 in illegitimate funds, the KSP said.

The case was presented to a Carter County grand jury on June 28, and the panel indicted Black on 12 of the counts, the KSP said.

Checks that were forged and cash amounts stolen ranged from $320 to $2,993, according to the KSP.

Black was lodged in the Carter County Detention Center. She was not in custody on Wednesday, according to the jail’s website.

Northeast, which is headquartered in Olive Hill, is a non-profit community action agency that provides assistance to low-income residents of the FIVCO counties — Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Greenup and Lawrence. The agency operates more than 20 programs, including Head Start, weatherization, winter care and the Low Income Home Emergency Assistance Program, which assists families with home heating bills.

KENNETH HART can be reached at khart@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2654.