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Former Belk employee found guilty of theft

By BECKY CRISSMAN

becky.crissman@cordeledispatch.com

A Crisp County jury returned a guilty verdict in just less than an hour against Alice Smith, age 54, of Cordele for the offense of Theft by Taking by a Fiduciary.

Smith, a former employee of Belk Department Store of Cordele, was convicted and sentenced on Thursday, August 11, 2016 by Superior Court Judge Chris Hughes. Clarence Williams, an attorney from Warner Robins, represented Smith.

The conviction stems from an investigation by the Cordele Police Department in early 2014 and into 2015. Belk loss prevention discovered over $17,000 in revenues missing from its bank deposits. Belk Regional Loss Prevention Manager Travis Beggs provided hours of video surveillance, information regarding the store’s office procedures, and performed a forensic analysis of months of the store’s financial records. In conjunction with Investigator Scott Farrow of the Cordele Police Department, the two men conducted numerous interviews with witnesses from Cordele all the way to Macon.

Numerous other Belk employees were witnesses in the case assisting the District Attorney’s Office to prepare the case for trial. Assistant District Attorneys Lucas Brainerd and Lauren Fletcher prosecuted the case. Following the four-day trail, Judge Hughes sentenced Alice Smith to fifteen years of probation, but she must first serve confinement at a detention center. She was also ordered to pay restitution to the Cordele Belk Department Store in the amount of $17,463.42

District Attorney Brad Rigby commends his assistants, the staff at Belk and the Cordele Police Department for their efforts in the prosecution.