One day after she was charged with stealing more than $210,000 from the Beaufort County Treasurer's Office, Casaundra White told a magistrate she has less than $125 to her name.
"I've got nothing," White told Beaufort County Chief Magistrate Darlene Smith.
White's comments came during her 20-minute bond hearing Thursday before Smith at the county Detention Center."Considering the amount of money in question," Smith responded, "whether it's gone or not, I don't know what you have access to."
Smith then set White's bond at $250,000. She also ordered her to relinquish her passport after 14th Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone revealed that last week she married a Jamaican national living near Boston. Stone called her a flight risk.
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White, 29, was charged Wednesday with embezzlement of public funds and conspiracy for stealing more than $210,000 from public accounts by funneling money to dummy companies she and her ex-boyfriend set up. Her ex-boyfriend, Adrian Coore, 36, also is wanted on five counts of criminal conspiracy. He had not been arrested as of Thursday, though investigators believe he is in Beaufort County.
Investigators say that between September 2007 and May 2008, White and Coore set up bank accounts in the names of at least three fake corporations. White filed paperwork with the Treasurer's Office to make it appear as though the corporations had overpaid the county, making them eligible for a reimbursement check.
Once the check was issued, White would deposit it into one of the dummy corporations' bank accounts and later withdraw the money for personal use, prosecutors say.
White had 11 checks totaling $210,012 written to her fraudulent companies, according to arrest warrants.
"Though Casaundra White went to work for the Treasurer's Office, it's clear now that she was working for herself," Stone said. "I don't put a lot of stock in anything a defendant says during a bond hearing, but it's clear that, at some point, she had access to over $200,000. Whether she spent it all or what happened to that money, I can't say."
If convicted, White faces five to 10 years in prison on each embezzlement count and up to five years for each count of conspiracy.
Scheduled to appear next in court June 25, White said Thursday she will be represented by a public defender.