Comptroller: Former Unicoi Co. teacher accused of stealing more than $10K of gas

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UNICOI COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – A former Unicoi County Middle School teacher and coach has been indicted on a theft charge after investigators say he stole more than $10,000 worth of gasoline.

According to a release from the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury, an investigation found that Travis Griffith had “used a school department fuel card to purchase at least $10,160 worth of gasoline for his personal vehicle.”

The release states Griffith had been issued a fuel card as part of his role as an assistant baseball coach, but the school owned vehicle used diesel fuel, not the gasoline he purchased.

“Griffith was able to use the school department’s fuel card for more than five years before he resigned his position on October 9, 2020,” the release states. “During that time, he made at least 169 personal fuel purchases, including purchases in South Carolina and Florida.”

A Unicoi County Grand Jury indicted Griffith on one count of theft over $10,000, according to the release.

“The use of fuel cards is common for many local governments, but it’s vitally important that controls are put in place to prevent fraud,” said Comptroller Jason Mumpower in the release. “In this case, school officials should have taken extra steps to review monthly fuel invoices, which included information about purchase locations and the type of fuel purchased, before submitting payment. I’m pleased to see that school leaders have corrected this deficiency.”

To view the entire report on the investigation, click here.

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