DOBSON — The investigation of a Dobson woman accused of embezzling from a local youth cheerleading organization was transferred from the Surry County District Attorney’s Office to a financial crimes expert prosecutor for the state.
Sherri Mosley, 36, of Windsor Park Drive, was charged Sept. 30 with one count of felony embezzlement for allegedly stealing $164.22 belonging to Eagles Cheerleading.
More charges may be filed pending an investigation now being handled by Scott Harkey, a financial crimes resource prosecutor for the Financial Crimes Initiative, which is a program run by North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys.
Harkey cases from the Piedmont district for the financial crimes unit and is an assistant district attorney in Davidson County.
The financial crimes resource program was established in 2012 with funds from the national mortgage settlement.
Attorney General Roy Cooper was one of 44 state attorney’s who negotiated a settlement with the banks that caused the national mortgage crisis.
Its goal is to enhance prosecution of financial crimes by providing expert prosecutors as a resource to district attorney’s across the state.
“Financial crime is the fastest growing type of crime in the country and North Carolina,” said Tammy Smith, a white-collar crime resource prosecutor who oversees the program.
According to Smith, financial crime is on the rise because it yields a higher payoff with less risk for criminals.
For prosecutors, however, investigating such crimes involves “an incredible amount of time” because of the volume of documents and data that need to be analyzed and because “the scams and schemes are often complex,” she said.
“Every prosecutor in the state is understaffed, overworked, and bombarded with crime,” Smith said. “We have the luxury to take the time to go through the documents. We have a vast amount of knowledge and experience specific to financial crime.”
Investigations include combing through data such as banks statements, computer records, and audits, “trying to chase the money from where it’s supposed to be to where it is.”
According to Smith, Mosley’s case was referred about two weeks ago and is still being investigated for possible new charges.
“Until that investigation is concluded we won’t have an idea what those charges are,” said Smith, who said the length of such investigations vary from case to case.
“It’s too early to make a charging decision at this time,” she said. “It probably won’t go to a grand jury until after the first of the year.”
According to Smith, prosecutors for the unit have handled about 800 cases since 2013 and have recovered about $10 million in restitution for victims.
Reach Terri Flagg at 415-4734.