Embezzlement charges filed

Published 6:42 am Monday, April 21, 2014

WINTON – The former Human Resources Supervisor at one of the local area’s largest businesses is facing embezzlement charges.

Chrissy Lewis Hughson of Colerain was arrested April 9 on four felony counts of embezzlement. She made her initial court appearance in Winton on Tuesday where her next court date was set for May 20.

According to Hertford County Sheriff Juan Vaughan, the investigation by his office began Jan. 6 following a phone call from management at Nucor Plate Mill.

“The time involved in this case between early January and now was basically consumed by dealing with Nucor’s health insurance carrier,” Vaughan said. “Once the health insurance carrier completed their financial investigation, we were able to move forward with our criminal investigation.”

Vaughan said Hughson stands accused of failing to deduct, from her payroll check, her share of the health insurance coverage costs incurred by Nucor. She also failed to deduct a portion of her wages earmarked for a flex account, money used to cover the costs of medically-related items such as drug prescriptions and doctor co-pays.

According to the insurance investigation, Hughson allegedly withheld a total of $15,521.76 ($9,870 diverted from the flex account from 2008-2013 and $5,651.76 from her share of the company’s health insurance between 2008-2011).

In her role as Human Resources Supervisor, Vaughan said Hughson’s responsibilities included managing the company’s payroll, to include making deductions for state and federal taxes, health insurance, and the flex account.

Vaughan said Hughson was hired as a payroll clerk at Nucor in June of 2004. She was promoted to Human Resources Supervisor in May of 2011.

According to Hughson’s LinkedIn account, she served as the Colerain Town Administrator from January 2001 until June 2004.

HCSO Investigator Brian Pearce handled the criminal probe into this case.