A teacher in Coffee County has been charged with theft for allegedly taking more than $29,000.
According to a special investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, 34-year-old Stephanie Cunningham, a teacher with Coffee County Schools, was the former treasurer of the Coffee County Education Association.
Reports stated she stole at least $29,096 from the association.
The investigation revealed Cunningham had used the association’s debit card from May 2013 through November 2015 for her own benefit.
Authorities said Cunningham admitted to using the association’s money to pay for personal items.
Those items included meals at restaurants, jewelry, cosmetics, clothing, and gift cards, as well as unauthorized cash withdrawals by check and ATM and unauthorized transfers from the association’s bank account to her personal bank account.
It was noted by investigators that Cunningham started depositing her personal funds into the association’s bank account in July 2013 totaling $25,069.
Cunningham was indicted in November on one count of theft over $10,000.
“One of the best ways to stop theft is to create a system that allows for prompt detection,” said Comptroller Justin P. Wilson. “One person should never be allowed to have complete control of a group’s checkbook, bank account, and debit card without regular oversight. Reviewing bank statements and requiring multiple signatures on checks is a good place to start.”
Click here to view the full investigation online.