Pike woman charged with 15 embezzlement counts

Rachel Baldwin rbaldwin@civitasmedia.com

January 17, 2014

Rachel Baldwin


WILLIAMSON - A Forest Hills, Ky., resident with a masters degree in accounting was arraigned before Mingo County Special Magistrate Kim Blair on Thursday, on a total of 15 felony charges that stemmed from an alleged embezzlement scheme in which she is said to have fraudulently obtained thousands of dollars in 2010.

Janie Maynard (“aka” Janie Vermillion), 42, stands charged in Mingo County on five counts each of computer fraud, forgery and obtaining money by false pretense.

The arrest warrant against Maynard was obtained by Mingo County Sheriff’s DepartmentChief Field Deputy Joe Smith and Deputy Stephen Smith after an investigation into accusations against her was conducted.

According to the criminal complaints, the defendant was employed by John Preece, the owner of Industrial Resource Group, which is located in Mingo County. Maynard stands accused of forging her employer’s signature to five checks that were made payable to herself, which she then either cashed or deposited into an account at Community Trust Bank’s Williamson and Goody, Ky. locations. The checks were written in the amounts of $3,268.27, $3,250, $4,250, $2,219.32 and $2,218.35. These criminal acts occurred between the dates of July 12 and July 28, 2010,according to the complaints.

The defendant was indicted by the Pike County Grand Jury last December on one count each of criminal possession of a forged instrument, second degree (Class D felony) and theft by unlawful taking (Class C felony), connected to this same case. She remains on bond in Pike County and is scheduled for a status hearing on March 23.

Eugene Cisco, counsel for the accused, told the Daily News that he finds it peculiar that an employer would wait four years to decide to press charges against a former employee who allegedly embezzled from him, and says he believes there is more to this case than meets the eye.

The victim in this case, John Preece, and his attorney, Tom Ward, were very quick to explain the time lapse between the crime being committed and the charges being filed.

“In the fall of last year, Mr. Preece contacted me about several discrepancies that were discovered during an internal audit that was being performed during a potential sale of the business,” Ward said. “I immediately brought this to the attention of the Pike County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office and the Mingo County Prosecutor’s Office. My client testified before the Pike County Grand Jury concerning this theft and the defendant was indicted.”

“So, to answer the reason as to why four years later these charges are being pursued is very simple,” Ward said. “They were not discovered until the internal audit was performed.”

“In all honestly, I’m not sure the crime would have been detected because of the way my former employee ‘cooked the books,’ Preece said. “She not only stole the money, she covered her tracks very thoroughly.”

Cisco said that he had been led to believe there could have possibly been more to the relationship between his client and her employer than just a professional one, especially in the mind of the business owner, but according to Ward, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

“It doesn’t surprise me this tactic may be tried, but that’s definitely not true,” Ward said.

Cisco has requested that a date for the preliminary (probable cause) hearing take place as soon as possible, and asked that a decent amount of time be allowed to present evidence, saying there’s a lot of information that needs to be disclosed surrounding these charges.

“I feel that attention is trying to be diverted away from the crime itself to make the appearance that other underlying factors may have played into this, but that is not the way it is,” Ward said. “A crime was committed, and the defendant is simply trying the age-old tactic of placing blame on others.”

Maynard was released following her Mingo arraignment on a $15,000 personal recognizance bond.