Kingsport Times News Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Local News

Forgery complaints filed against manager of Hawkins cemetery

January 22nd, 2014 10:50 pm by Jeff Bobo

Forgery complaints filed against manager  of Hawkins cemetery

ROGERSVILLE — More than 20 alleged victims of Hawkins County Memorial Gardens Manager Vickie Ringley have been advised by law enforcement to file lawsuits, but the attorney general’s office is looking closer at new check forgery complaints.

Last year, Ringley was the subject of a criminal investigation conducted by the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office after numerous people complained they had paid for gravestones to be placed on graves or other services that hadn’t been performed.

The HCSO concluded that criminal charges weren’t possible based on the evidence and advised more than 20 people who had made complaints against Ringley to file civil lawsuits.

In just the past two weeks, however, the HCSO and the Rogersville Police Department have received new check altering/forgery complaints against Ringley.

Chandra Adams of Rogersville reported to the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office on Jan. 16 that a check she had written to the cemetery to make a payment on her and her husband’s burial plots was allegedly altered by Ringley.

Adams stated she wrote a check in the amount of $66.25 to Hawkins County Memorial Gardens.

She was later notified by an employee of Appalachian Credit Union of Rogersville that Ringley had come to the credit union drive through on Jan. 16 with the check, but it had been altered.

According to a report filed by HCSO Detective Jeff Greer, the “pay to” line where the name of the cemetery had been written was covered with correction fluid and the name Vickie Ringley was written on top of it. 

The back of the check was also endorsed by Ringley, Greer added.

“Branch Manager Melissa Roark told Ms. Ringley that they would not accept the check and that it was void due to being altered,” Greer said. “They also didn’t return the check to Ms. Ringley. Both Mr. and Mrs. Adams state that the check was for the purpose of paying their bill at Hawkins County Memorial Gardens, and no one had permission to alter their check in any way.”

Sheriff Ronnie Lawson said the Adams’ check has been forwarded to the attorney general’s office.

For an expanded version of this article, please see Thursday's print edition or our expanded electronic edition.

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