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Contour Industries files suit against alleged embezzler

June 5th, 2007 12:00 am by Jeff Bobo

ROGERSVILLE - Contour Industries filed a lawsuit last week in Hawkins County Circuit Court seeking real estate, automobiles, and bank account funds belonging to a former employee accused of embezzling from the company.

Timmy Dean Byrd, 39, 5200 Skyline Drive, Knoxville, was arrested by the Hawkins County Sheriff's Office May 24 on one count of theft over $60,000.

The alleged embezzlement was discovered after company executives contacted a customer to asked why payments hadn't been made. Executives learned that Dean, who was purchasing manager, had allegedly altered payment checks to the company and deposited them in his own bank account.

At the time of his arrest, the HCSO alleged that Dean had stolen about $95,000 over the past 18 months.

The lawsuit filed May 29 alleges that since then Contour Industries has discovered thefts totaling more than $200,000.

The lawsuit alleges that Dean used three techniques to cover the embezzlement.

According to the lawsuit, Dean allegedly altered dates on invoices so they didn't show as unpaid or past due; credited invoices as paid and then recreated identical invoices with new invoice numbers and dates so they would not show as unpaid or past due; and changed the names of the customers to which invoices were issued so that detection of the misappropriation would be difficult to detect.

In the end, however, police say Dean incriminated himself by endorsing the checks he stole with his own name.

Among the property sought in the lawsuit are funds in Dean's checking account, which the HCSO reported as between $10,000 and $15,000; three brand-new automobiles reportedly purchased by Dean since the alleged embezzlement began; and real estate in Knox County.

JPMorgan Chase Bank holds the mortgage on Dean's real estate and is named as a co-defendant in the lawsuit since Contour seeks a writ of attachment on the property.

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