Advertisement

Former Claiborne Co. Chief Deputy clerk accused of stealing more than $25K

Investigators identified 646 vehicle registration transactions submitted to the clerk’s office for more than the actual amounts due to the clerk.
An investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office resulted in the indictment of a former...
An investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office resulted in the indictment of a former chief deputy clerk in Claiborne County.(Tennessee Comptroller’s Office)
Published: Aug. 2, 2021 at 4:28 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - An investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office resulted in the indictment of a former chief deputy clerk in Claiborne County.

According to reports, the investigation began after the county clerk reported questionable conduct involving the former chief deputy.

Patricia “Diane” Heck is accused of stealing at least $25,519.74 from the clerk’s office between April 1, 2016, and April 19, 2019, when she resigned.

Investigators said Heck allegedly overcharged certain vehicle dealerships for the fees they remitted to the clerk on behalf of their customers. Through her position, Heck was responsible for calculating the fees of many sales. According to the comptroller’s office, Heck reportedly falsely inflated fee amounts to dealerships and kept the excess amounts for her personal benefit.

Heck also allegedly altered electronic or manual records, “in an effort to hide her misappropriation,” including using a white substance to conceal information on registration documents.

Investigators identified 646 vehicle registration transactions submitted to the clerk’s office for more than the actual amounts due to the clerk.

Heck was indicted by a Claiborne County Grand Jury on one count of theft over $10,000, one count of tampering with government records and one count of official misconduct.

“I am pleased the Claiborne County clerk reported this information to our Office,” said Comptroller Jason Mumpower. “I’m also encouraging the clerk to use this opportunity to improve operations within her office by ensuring cash drawers are reconciled with receipts each day and reviewing any unusual or questionable transactions.”

Copyright 2021 WVLT. All rights reserved.