DOT employee charged with embezzlement

rlurye@islandpacket.comFebruary 6, 2014 

Howard Van Peeples Jr.

SUBMITTED PHOTO

An S.C. Department of Transportation employee was charged with embezzling public funds Thursday, accused of using a state gas card to fuel his car in Beaufort, according to an arrest warrant.

Howard Van Peeples Jr., 27, of Early Branch embezzled more than $2,500 between Dec. 10, 2012, and July 21, 2013, according to a warrant from the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division.

During that time, Peeples used a government card to buy gas for his personal vehicle at a DOT maintenance unit on Munch Drive, the warrant said.

The department’s Charleston office discovered the misuse of funds during an internal audit.

Peeples admitted to the charge in interviews with SLED, and investigators also acquired video surveillance of the incidents, according to the warrant.

Peeples was released from the Beaufort County Detention Center on a $5,000 personal bond.

Peeples worked for the department from Aug. 17, 2010, to Aug. 9, 2013, according to communications director Pete Poore.

Follow reporter Rebecca Lurye on Twitter at twitter.com/IBPG_Rebecca.

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