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Audit alleges Center City Clerk embezzled over $300,000 from city

Audit alleges Center City Clerk embezzled over $300,000 from city

1 week, 5 days ago by Scott Hardy

Tracey Ray accused of using money for credit card bills, personal payments

The Missouri State Auditor's Office says that the former City Clerk of Center, Missouri embezzled over $300,000 from the city over a four-year period.

The office of State Auditor Nicole Galloway issued the report Wednesday, saying that former Clerk Tracey Ray stole nearly $317,000 between January 1st, 2015, and last July 3rd. Ray was fired by Center's Board of Aldermen on the 3rd. They asked for the audit that same night. The report says that Ray spent over $206,000 on her personal credit card bills. She also spent over $62,000 of city money for health insurance coverage after the Board voted to discontinue their coverage in 2014. According to the report, Ray also made over $35,000 in improper payments for property taxes, life insurance and mortgage companies, stores and restaurants. The Auditor's Office also says that an additional $87,000 in questionable payments were made that they're not sure about. The report says it's unclear if they were personal or related to city business. The report says that Ray falsified Board financial reports and lists of bills prepared for Board meetings to help conceal the alleged thefts. The report says that Center's Board of Aldermen are working with law enforcement officials about criminal prosecution over the missing money. No charges have yet been filed in Ralls County over the alleged thefts.

Ray does face two counts each of 1st Degree Assault and Armed Criminal Action in the July 2nd, 2019 shooting that slightly wounded Ralls County Sheriff Gerry Dinwiddie and Chief Deputy Ronald Haught. Ray's pleaded Not Guilty to the charges, and a hearing in the case is set for December in Boone County Circuit Court. 

The full audit is available below. 

 

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