KINGSPORT — The founder of Capital Armored Services received a 30-day prison sentence for embezzling $7,000 from the company over a two-month period last year.
Jeffrey Scott Tankersley pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Greeneville in September to one count of embezzlement of more than $1,000. On Monday, U.S. District Judge Ronnie Greer sentenced Tankersley to 30 days in prison to be served intermittently in time periods of not less than 48 hours.
Greer also sentenced Tankersley to five years probation and ordered him to pay $39,000 in restitution. Tankersley faced a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
According to court records, Tankersley was the president and owner of Capital Armored Services, a Kingsport-based business that provides transport and security services for financial institutions within the Tri-Cities.
One of the company’s principal business activities is to transport U.S. currency and coinage for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s Nashville branch to and from banks and other financial institutions in East Tennessee. As part of that activity, Capital Armored Services would temporarily store the money in its vault in Kingsport.
In August, company officials discovered coinage missing from the vault. The FBI was subsequently informed of the missing coinage, and an investigation began. Prosecutors say Tankersley admitted to embezzling approximately $7,000 in $1 coins on three occasions between June 1 and July 30, 2007, and using the money for personal expenses.
Tankersley said when Capital Armored Services filed for bankruptcy last year, he took a $4,000-a-month pay cut. As this was going on, Tankersley said he was also going through a divorce and had to file personal bankruptcy as well.
During the Capital Armored Services bankruptcy proceedings, Tankersley said one of his partners was placed in charge of payroll by the bankruptcy court and that his check would be held back.
Tankersley said he would go to the vault and “spot” himself his paycheck with the intention of putting the money back when his actual paycheck would come in.
When the other company officials came in and found the vault short of money, they contacted the bankruptcy attorneys, who in turn contacted federal authorities.
“When they came in I admitted to everything, told them what happened, and it’s kind of like I took money from myself,” said Tankersley. “I feel like (the company officials) should have had enough courtesy to call me and say we have a problem. I could have explained it to them and prevented this whole thing from happening.”
During the course of the investigation, prosecutors discovered $32,500 in additional money missing from the Capital Armored Services vault, thefts allegedly done by other company employees. However, prosecutors say Tankersley oversaw the falsification of the daily reports to the Federal Reserve Bank about the missing $32,500.
Court records state Tankersley gave investigators information regarding these thefts, but due to a lack of proof and poor accountability over the vault at Capital Armored Services, charges will not be filed against the other employees.
Since being charged with embezzlement last year, Tankersley helped run Burgers on Broad (which has since been sold) and now works as the general manager of Tri-City Cinemas and does marketing with Major League of Monster Trucks.
Tankersley, who wrestles occasionally as “Mr. X-Citement,” is still involved in the wrestling promotion business with his Iron Ring Wrestling federation and sings as a Johnny Cash impersonator.
During the embezzlement proceedings, leniency letters were written on Tankersley’s behalf from representatives of Tri-City Cinemas and MLMT, as well as from Lucy Fleming, director of Fun Fest and the pastor of the Riners Tabernacle Baptist Church.
Reached by phone on Monday, Tankersley said he’s just glad to have the matter over with.
“I’m relieved to go on with my life and pursue different areas and job opportunities, promote wrestling shows when I can, and try to rebuild my integrity,” he said. “It was a bad business decision, and in no way was I intending to do any wrongdoing. It just happened.”