Church Hill Police Department Detective Dustin Dean said Thursday he believes Tammy Lynn Barker, 43, 208 Jackson Road, Rogersville, when she says she planned on paying back the money.
On Wednesday, Dean was contacted about the missing money by the president of First Community Bank on Highway 11-W in Church Hill and the bank’s internal fraud investigator. As Dean continued his investigation into the missing funds Thursday morning, Barker reportedly admitted to taking the cash.
“Her till had a bundle of $100 bills which was supposed to add up to $5,000,” Dean said. “Last week she took $4,400 in $100 bills out of that bundle and replaced them with $1 bills. She left hundreds on the outside so the bundle would look like it was supposed to.
“She said she planned on replacing the money this week when a home construction loan came through, but the bank had a surprise audit Tuesday and the missing bills were discovered.”
Barker reportedly told Dean in her official statement that her home is being renovated and the money was needed to make a payment to the construction company. She was due for a construction loan “draw” this week, which she told Dean she planned on using to pay back the bank.
“She knew the missing money would eventually be discovered and blamed on her, and that’s why I believe she did intend on paying it back when her loan came through,” Dean said. “It was just bad timing for her that the bank conducted one of its surprise audits on Tuesday.”
Barker had been employed at the bank for about a year, Dean said.
Barker was charged Thursday with forgery and theft over $1,000. She was bonded out of jail Thursday and is scheduled for arraignment in Hawkins County Sessions Court on Nov. 3.