By TRAVIS HANDY
Virginia State Police have charged a Tazewell County woman with multiple counts of embezzlement and money laundering after an investigation by VSP’s Bureau of Investigation’s Wytheville Field Office.
Willie Kathy Hicks, also known as Kathy Keene, 53, of North Tazewell, was indicted Oct. 2, 2013 by a Tazewell County grand jury on 15 counts of embezzlement by a public officer and one count of money laundering. An indictment is a finding enough evidence exists to hold a trial. It is not a finding of guilt.
According to VSP Public Relations Manager Corrine Geller, VSP investigated Hicks after being contacted by Tazewell County Public Schools about alleged embezzlement by one of its employees. Hicks is alleged to have taken thousands of dollars per year in funds intended for the school and school events since at least 2006. The funds were allegedly deposited into Hicks’ personal account.
Although she was employed by the school system during the time of the alleged fraud, Hicks has since retired.