Investigation finds bookkeeper stole $20K from school

Investigation finds bookkeeper stole $20K from school (Image 1)

A Sumner County woman is facing multiple charges after allegedly stealing thousands of dollars from an elementary school where she worked as a bookkeeper.

Penny Knight is charged with 19 counts of felony forgery and two counts of theft totaling nearly $20,000.

Authorities in Sumner County told Nashville's News 2 Investigates an 18-month investigation was initiated when funds designated to go into the student activity fund ended up missing.

School officials said they notified the sheriff's department after they reportedly found irregularities in the books.

According to school officials, Knight worked as a bookkeeper at Beech Elementary School for 14 years.

She was fired from the position on September 15, 2010, while an investigation was launched the next day.

Sheriff Sonny Weatherford told Nashville's News 2 Investigates, the investigation took nearly two years because investigators had to wait on school and state audits.

The sheriff also said Knight has since confessed.

“She said she was paying bills with the money,” Weatherford said, adding, “She did take around $20,000. It's important to let people know you can't take from the schools. You can't steal to pay bills or for any reason.”

Sumner County detectives showed Nashville's News 2 Investigates one of the checks that is now being used evidence in the case.  

It was made out on a Beech Elementary School check and was written on February 26, 2009 for the amount of $456.

The detective said Knight used the money to pay off an auto loan.

Nashville's News 2 Investigates attempted to reach Knight for comment; however she did not answer the door of her home or return our phone calls.

Knight has been released from jail on a $10,000 bond.

She is scheduled to appear in court on Friday.

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