Kingsport department store employee charged with embezzlement in alleged refund scheme

Rain Smith • Mar 22, 2013 at 11:55 AM

KINGSPORT — An alleged scheme to process refunds for items stolen from a business inside the Kingsport Town Center — resulting in the embezzlement of more than $3,500 — has prompted the arrest of one man and pending charges against his accomplice.

An affidavit filed in Kingsport court says police were called to the Kingsport Mall, 2101 Fort Henry Drive, shortly after 5 p.m. Tuesday. A loss prevention officer for JC Penney relayed that an employee, Zachary Ball, 20, of 375 Olinger Drive, had been embezzling money over the past four months.

The loss prevention officer reportedly gave Kingsport police a signed confession from Ball, in which he admitted to refunding money for store merchandise — which he knew to be stolen — onto debit cards.

The affidavit states five refunds totaling $1,768.43 went onto a pair of debit cards belonging to Ball. Five additional refunds totaling $1,861.51 went on to a debit card belonging to his friend, which court records identify by name, bringing the amount of the thefts to $3,629.94

Police spoke with Ball at the scene, allegedly receiving another confession to his crimes. He was arrested and booked into the Kingsport city jail, charged with embezzlement of more than $1,000. He later posted a $4,000 bond and was released.

Kingsport police say an investigation is continuing with charges pending against the other suspect.

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