Former Ward Town Clerk charged with embezzling more than $10,000

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Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016

WARD, S.C. (WRDW) -- A Saluda County woman is facing charges after investigators say she embezzled more than $10,000 from the town of Ward.

According to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, Ellen Pamela Long, 63, of Ward, S.C. is charged with embezzlement of public funds valued $10,000 or more, breach of trust with fraudulent intent and forgery. In total, the charges carry a possible penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine at the discretion of the court.

SLED investigators say between the dates of Jan. 1, 2003 and Aug. 1, 2014, Long used town money for personal use while serving as town clerk. Authorities say for nearly a decade, Long used town money to make personal credit card payments and endorsed checks directly to her husband and herself for cash.

Investigators say they collected financial records that outline the fraudulent transactions. The findings were corroborated by Long. She also voluntarily provided a written statement and verbal confession to the accused offenses.

Long was booked at the Saluda County Detention Center. The case will be prosecuted by the 11th Circuit Solicitor's Office.