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Mercer County DMV director took money, police say

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- State Police say the director of the Division of Motor Vehicles office in Mercer County stole thousands of dollars from the DMV to fuel a gambling problem.

Rhonda Ann Thomas, 46, of Princeton, was charged with felony embezzlement on Tuesday, according to a criminal complaint filed in Mercer County Magistrate Court.

DMV officials notified the State Police after they found money missing from agency accounts. John Haynes and David Hughes, regional DMV directors, said they had discovered $13,000 missing, according to the complaint.

State Police Trooper D.C. Graham investigated the complaint at the DMV office in Princeton. He said Thomas admitted to taking from the DMV's cash and check deposit bags, according to the complaint.

Graham took Thomas to the State Police detachment Princeton, where she allegedly signed a statement admitting to the charge. As director of the DMV, Thomas was authorized to sign off on cash and check deposit bags collected by an armored car.

Thomas allegedly said she has a "major gambling problem" and spent all of the money she took.

According to the complaint, Thomas said she began taking small amounts of money from the bags in the summer of 2012. Eventually she began taking all the cash by signing off to take bags to the bank herself, according to the complaint.

Thomas was arraigned in Mercer County Magistrate Court and later released on bail.

Reach Travis Crum at travis.crum@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.

 

 


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