Former Wellborn Community Center treasurer accused of stealing nearly $95,000

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WELLBORN, Tex. (KBTX) - The longtime treasurer of the Wellborn Community Center and Cemetery is charged with stealing $94,791.17 from the non-profit.

64-year-old Mary Beth Hammock was arrested Thursday for misapplication of fiduciary property. Investigators believe Hammock had been taking money from the non-profit since 2012 and manipulated monthly financial reports to cover the crime.

Records show 310 unauthorized transactions paid Hammock's credit card bills using money from cemetery plot sales and community center event rentals.

Board members told KBTX Friday they became aware of the issue in April when a $500 Capital One payment was found on a bank account. The organization didn't have a Capital One account, so an investigation was opened. Hammock resigned from the volunteer position this spring.

Board members and residents said they're shocked.

"You know, that's a lot of money to come out of that community center because already they kind of work on a small budget," said Tony Watson, owner of Watson Signs and Monuments in Wellborn. He's been in business there for nearly 10 years and lives nearby.

He added this news is a big blow for the small community.

"To scam that much money out of what they have, it’s going to be detrimental to them quite a bit," said Watson. "I know they've got a cemetery cleanup on Saturday, actually, and you know we were already getting ready to donate some cleaning chemicals and stuff like that to them," he said.

On Friday, it looked like business as usual at the Wellborn Community Center. Vehicles filled the parking lot for an event inside.

"I'm hoping that what they do is they'll take this as a lesson and maybe they'll have several people, you continue to have a treasurer, but now you've got two or three other people additional to watch over the books," suggested Watson.

Board members tell KBTX new checks and balances are being implemented.

Mary Beth Hammock posted $20,000 bond Thursday. She had been working with the community center for nearly 20 years, the last 12 as treasurer.

Some of the personal credit cards police say she used the money to pay off include Barclay's, Capital One, Chase, Finger Hut, Kohl's, Lowe's, Sears, Sheffield Financial, Sun Trust and Walmart.