Teague arrested on theft charges
Larry Teague, 64, of Marked Tree was charged with theft last week after an investigation by the Craighead County Sheriff's Office showed he had embezzled over $56,000 from Black Oak Gin. Teague turned himself in Thursday, Nov. 5, following the investigation to face charges of theft of $25,000 or more, a class B felony, and fraudulent use of credit card for $1,000 or less, a class A misdemeanor.
According to the incident report from the Craighead County Sheriff's Office, Investigator Gary Etter met with Ronnie Qualls, owner of Black Oak Gin, and the gin's accountant on July 28 in reference to Teague, an ex-employee who had been gin manager, using company funds for his own personal use. As manager, Teague was authorized to issue company checks and use a company credit card for anything pertaining to the gin.
According to the report, in 2007 Teague also dismissed the bookkeeper and hired a new bookkeeper from Marked Tree whom he knew. After the gin's board started their investigation and began conducting an audit earlier this year, the new bookkeeper left the position.
The investigation revealed Teague had used the company credit card and company checks for personal use without authorization between September of 2011 and March of 2015.
According to the sheriff's office, the investigation alleged Teague made the following unauthorized payments totalling $56,530.72:
*$8,737.46 in legal fees to his attorneys.
*$406.60 payment on his wife's personal credit card in 2012.
*$5,542.79 at Barton's for supplies for personal use.
*$153.20 on the company credit card at Belle Diner.
*$345.09 at Chicken Stop for meals between 2011 and 2012.
*$1,017.66 at Chicken Stop on checks listed for supplies between 2012 and 2013.
*$4,081.70 at Farrell-Calhoun, Inc., for paint and supplies for personal use between 2011 and 2014.
*$2,099.27 to a Black Oak Gin employee for work done on Teague's personal property in 2014.
*$82.41 on the company credit card in 2014 for personal use.
*$750 to pay personal legal fees for his son in 2013.
*$52.44 at Lansky's on company credit card.
*$13,471.82 for unapproved truck rental and travel expenses between 2011 and 2014.
*$11,402.15 at Lowes for personal use between 2012 and 2015.
*$1,643.27 to another Black Oak Gin employee for work done for personal use in 2014.
*$1,463.13 at Midway Cafe for meals between 2013 and 2014.
*$472 to Murphy Funeral Home, his sister's place of employment, in 2013.
*$513.48 to another Black Oak Gin employee for work done on his personal property in 2014.
*$661.53 to San Tek Environmental, Inc. (James Taylor and Sons Waste Management).
*$1,285.20 to his attorneys for legal fees in 2012.
*$1,905.75 for four tickets to a Memphis Grizzlies Game in 2013.
*$434.77 on the company credit card at the Peabody in Memphis in 2015.
Teague appeared before Judge Keith Blackman last Thursday before being released on his own recognizance. Teague is scheduled to appear in Craighead County Circuit Court in Lake City on Nov. 24.