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home : news : greenwood August 22, 2017

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4/4/2017 5:40:00 PM
Former Sheriff employee pleads guilty of embezzlement
Owens pictured in center during an arraignment hearing held back in 2014.
+ click to enlarge

Owens pictured in center during an arraignment hearing held back in 2014.

In February 2013, Sheriff Tony Davis requested an investigation by the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) into the finances of the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office.  This was after an internal investigation revealed potential embezzlement by Sandi Owens then, GCSO Administrative Assistant.

Back in May of 2014, Owens appeared in court where she pleaded not guilty to a charge of embezzlement greater than $10,000 and requested a jury trial.

Today, according to a release from the GCSO, Owens entered a guilty plea at 1pm for the embezzlement charge.  According to the release, Owens will face the judge for sentencing at a later date.

“The closing of this chapter will hopefully allow us to regain the trust of the community” said Greenwood County Sheriff Dennis Kelly.  “We look forward to this case being completely finished so our office and employees can get back to normal and move forward”.

GCSO bank records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act Request show numerous checks written to various entities, including Miss South Carolina pageant, signed by Owens. There are also a number of purchases from GCSO accounts, including Victoria’s Secret, which are clearly not GCSO business. Based on the banking documents, as much as much as $250,000 or more could have been embezzled between Jan. 2009 when Owens was given the position and her termination in Feb. 2013.

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