By John L. Ross / Staff Writer
A change in company policy led a Barbourville tire company to discover how they believe possibly more than $125,000 in inventory disappeared.
According to Barbourville Police Detective Steve Owens, Bingham Tire had been losing inventory during recent months.
So much so that the company decided to implement new policies to track deliveries versus sales.
With the new policies in place, bookkeepers in the accounts payable department uncovered that ex-employee, Mike Jones, 47, of Pineville, had allegedly been delivering merchandise to businesses either for no charge or for substantially reduced prices, according to Owens.
Those company employees then contacted the BPD.
“Accounts payable personnel worked with police to show how Jones had delivered merchandise to businesses that were not billed for deliveries,” Owens stated. “(Then), the cost (was placed) on accounts of other, unsuspecting businesses.”
The detective added that when interviewed, Jones allegedly admitted to his actions, but was unable to specify which accounts were used, how much had been lost by the company, or the location of any of the potential payments.
Officers arrested Jones and placed him in the Knox County Detention Center.
He faces charges of seven counts of theft by unlawful taking property valued at more than $10,000, 42 counts of theft by unlawful taking property valued at more than $500 but less than $10,000, 18 counts of theft by unlawful taking property valued at less than $500, 67 counts of falsifying business records, receiving a commercial bribe, and theft by failure to make required disposition of property.
Owens said the investigation will likely continue for some time while exact losses are determined.
Police also seek any individuals or businesses suspected of being involved.
Several members of the BPD were involved with this case, including Chief Mike Broughton, assistant chiefs Bill Swafford and James Gray, Owens and Detective Brian Senters, Sgt. Winston Tye and Patrol Officer Robert Brown.
Jones received a six-count indictment for these charges Friday, and all six counts indict him for separate charges of theft by unlawful taking property valued at more than $10,000. The first count indicts him for that charge for allegedly taking more than $30,000 from Bingham Tire and Oil during June 2012. The second count indicts him for that charge for allegedly taking more than $18,474 from Bingham Tire and Oil from July through September 2012. The third count indicts him for allegedly taking more than $20,500 from Bingham Tire and Oil from October 2012 through December 2012. The fourth count indicts him for allegedly taking more than $10,000 from Bingham Tire and Oil from January through March. The fifth count indicts him for allegedly taking more than $42,000 from Bingham Tire and Oil from April through June. The sixth count indicts him for allegedly taking more than $22,000 from Bingham Tire and Oil from July through August.