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Local CPA surrenders to authorities

May face more charges

POSTED: August 3, 2008 5:03 a.m.
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Pennington

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A local accountant accused of stealing more than $60,000 from a client’s escrow account has surrendered to authorities.

 

An arrest warrant was issued July 15 for Warren Pennington, 59, of Pickens County.

 

Dawson County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Tony Wooten said authorities think Pennington, the owner of Warren Pennington CPA in Dawsonville, is responsible for $64,000 missing from an account a client set up as a tax shelter.

 

Pennington is charged with one count of theft by conversion, according to the arrest warrant signed by Chief Magistrate Judge Johnny Holtzclaw.

 

Pennington’s arrest July 16 comes just three weeks after authorities arrested his former office manager on charges that she allegedly stole funds from clients at the accounting firm. Pennington filed a complaint with the sheriff’s office over

funds missing from a client’s payroll account in May.

 

A two-month investigation led to the arrest of Vivian Miles, 44, of Dahlonega.

 

Miles allegedly redirected clients’ funds designated to pay payroll taxes to the Internal Revenue Service into the accounts of three acquaintances.

 

Miles was arrested earlier this month on 22 counts of computer theft, according to warrants.

 

Evidence collected during the course of the initial investigation led Dawson County Investigator Don Kimbel, the department’s white collar crimes specialist, to think Pennington had also taken money from a separate client’s escrow account without the client’s knowledge, Wooten said.

 

“Investigators believe $64,000 of the $100,000 in the escrow account is missing,” Wooten said.

 

The investigation is ongoing and additional charges could be filed, Wooten said.

 

Calls to Pennington’s attorney Ridge Rairigh of Dawsonville had not been returned Tuesday.

 

Pennington was released shortly after midnight last Thursday on $20,000 bond.

 

E-mail Michele Hester at michele@dawsonnews.com.

  

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