Home Local Welch pleads guilty of embezzling $300k from probate court
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Welch pleads guilty of embezzling $300k from probate court

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A Grand Jury style
closed hearing was held
last Monday August 12th,
at the Chambers County
Court House where former
Probate Clerk Rene
Welch, 57, plead guilty to
using her official position
in the Chambers County
Probate Judge’s Office for
personal gains.
Welch was sentenced to
18 months in prison and
supervised probation for
five years after she pled
guilty to the theft of nearly
$300,000 from the probate
office. Welch was charged
with a class B felony.
Welch was a bookkeeper
for the Chambers
County Probate Office
between the years of
2013 and 2017. She was
responsible for verifying
the amount of money collected
each day and correcting
any discrepancies.
Her position’s responsibility
was to combine all
collected money thru out
a workday and prepare a
deposit slip and take the
money to the bank.
Investigators from the
Alabama Department
of Examiners of Public
Accounts noted numerous
instances where the
amount of cash recorded
on the deposit slip by the
bookkeeper and the cash
deposited into the bank
was less than the amount

of cash collected by the
clerks and verified by the
bookkeeper.
The plea agreement
states that Welch has
agreed to pay restitution
for the full amount of the
stolen funds. Current
Probate Judge Paul Story
said, “ It will be very hard
to recoup the taxpayers
money thru restitution.”
“This situation has not
been detrimental to the
county funds, it has been
detrimental to the funds
for the probate office itself
and affected how it runs,”
said Judge Story.
The news of this story
was originally released a
few days before the general
election at which Story
beat the seated Probate
Judge Brandi Easlick.
Story stated, “ We
now have further checks
and balances within our
office, we have increased
accountability for not only
employees but myself
also.”