Deputies seize county computers as part of embezzlement investigation

The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office seized several county-owned computers Wednesday that might contain evidence connected to the investigation of a former Treasurer's Office employee accused of embezzling more than $210,000, Sheriff P.J. Tanner said.

Investigators removed four computers from the Treasurer's Office and another computer from Staff Services, a department under county administrator Gary Kubic.

Kubic said the Staff Services computer belongs to an employee whose sister works in the Treasurer's Office.

Tanner said the computers from the Treasurer's Office belonged to the supervisors of Casaundra White, charged last week with allegedly funneling public money to dummy businesses she set up with her ex-boyfriend, Adrian Coore.

The computers will be searched for any e-mails, memos or other documents that might indicate whether other employees aided White in the alleged theft, he said.

Kubic added that any evidence or information gathered from the computers could be used by investigators during interviews with Treasurer's Office employees, who may be asked to take polygraph tests.

"This is just the beginning of this investigation, and we will follow all these leads," Kubic said.

Tanner has declined to say whether employees will be asked by investigators to take polygraph tests.

White is charged with six counts of embezzlement of public funds and five counts of criminal conspiracy. Coore is wanted on five counts of criminal conspiracy.

The charges against White are the result of an ongoing audit of the Treasurer's Office by the Atlanta-based accounting firm KPMG, which has been paid $230,000 for its work so far, according to county officials.

Kubic said the forensic part of the audit is "90 percent complete," and the results of a second KPMG audit examining Treasurer's Office procedures, performance and manuals could be released today or Monday.

The KPMG audit was ordered by Kubic and 14th Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone in March after sheriff's investigators discovered Treasurer Joy Logan failed to report White for allegedly stealing $600 from a bank deposit bag in 2007.