A Hall County Sheriff’s Office investigator said Monday an accountant found more than 100 discrepancies in the bookkeeping for a Juvenile Court clerk accused of taking $36,000.
Lorena Marceleno, 36, of Gainesville, appeared in Magistrate Court Monday, Dec. 7, regarding a theft by taking charge.
Investigator Jackson Brown said Marceleno turned over all of her bookkeeping records pertaining to her job in February when she resigned.
According to a statement from Juvenile Court, Marceleno left Juvenile Court “due to stress of the job” and not wanting to work there anymore, Brown said.
The Sheriff’s Office said Marceleno was in charge of deposits and account books for Juvenile Court fines and fees, which are usually paid in money order or cash.
Juvenile Court and later a Gainesville-based accounting firm reviewed the records following Marceleno’s departure.
“While the Juvenile Court was reviewing those books, they started noticing discrepancies between the deposit slips and the receipts that were turned in,” Brown said.
The final number reached was even higher, $38,517 after the audit uncovered more than 100 discrepancies, Brown said. Investigators said they believed the money was taken between 2016 and February of this year.
Brown explained the payment process for Juvenile Court, which involves an employee making a receipt in the court’s record system.
When Brown interviewed Marceleno, the Gainesville woman said she didn’t take any money.
Defense attorney Jeff Talley focused much of his cross-examination on who else would have had access to the money. Brown said only two people have access to the safe, one being Marceleno.
Regarding the investigation of the case, Brown said he is still waiting on some banking records
According to Hall County records, Marceleno was hired in July 2006.
The judge sent the case on to Superior Court.