A Bryan couple is accused of embezzling upwards of 350-thousand dollars from their employer. And now the two are facing serious charges.
Authorities are calling their alleged actions excessive, over the top -- and so far -- illegal.
“The couple spent $80,000 on landscaping on a piece of property which is just completely disproportionate to what they should have been spending,” explained Jim Stewart Brazos County Chief Deputy Sheriff. “And then some of the expenditures, they spent $10,000 for a mattress suite not to mention they had six flat screen TV’s.”
According to records, 41-year-old Kelsey Joe Lackey and his 38-year-old wife Shannon have been working for NDE Solutions in Bryan for the last several years. An audit from February 6, 2011 through March 5, 2013 revealed the two spent $290,000 for their own personal gain.
Kelsey was hired as an entry-level helper in 2008, but was promoted to a managerial position in 2010. His wife joined the company as a bookkeeper in 2009. By 2012, the owner had granted the couple a 20% share of the company.
“Mrs. Lackey was the bookkeeper of the firm, and her husband started out as a straight up employee and I guess after a period of time he demonstrated his competency and then you have the manager overseeing the bookkeeper,” said Stewart.
Owner Rowe Bansch said he's quote "absolutely surprised because I trusted them both completely."
When confronted about the allegations on February 11th, investigators say the Lackey's allegedly and partially admitted to the theft.
Auditors are continuing to dig deeper into the company’s financial records and according to investigators, they're expecting the current amount they believe was stolen to increase.
"Over a two-year period it was a considerable sum of money and it was frivolous things,” said Stewart. “They weren't giving me money to charity, they weren't doing worthy things with it -- they were buying stuff for themselves and their friends which is the sad part about it.”
The Lackeys were charged with misapplication of fiduciary property of more than $200,000, a crime punishable by five to 99 years in prison. Each was released from jail after posting $10,000 bail. More charges are expected as the investigation and audit continue.
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