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College embezzlement case headed to grand jury

Updated: Thursday, October 17 2013, 02:09 PM EDT

By: NEWS9 and Jennifer Black

BROOKE COUNTY, W.Va. --

A woman accused of embezzling more than $500,000 from Bethany College appeared in court Thursday.

Shelly Lough, who is the college's former cashier, is charged with felony counts of embezzlement and falsifying accounts.

The charges stem from an investigation that lasted several months and the crimes allegedly happened over a 12-24 month span, Brooke County Prosecutor Joe Barki said.

Leading up to the charges, Lough had been meeting with members of the Brooke County Sheriff's Department and she turned herself in to authorities earlier in October.

"Throughout the charge of embezzlement, she has represented that there was an ongoing blackmail situation which the state is in the process of investigating," Barki said.

Thursday, Lough appeared timid when she appeared for the first time in court before a magistrate. It was also the first time she met her defense attorney, William Brogan, and she waived her right to a preliminary hearing.

After Lough was charged, Bethany College released a statement that the college will pursue all avenues to recover the funds that were stolen.

The case has now been bound over to Circuit Court and is scheduled to be presented to a Brooke County grand jury on Nov. 4.

In the meantime, the prosecution said they will continue to speak with Lough's attorney regarding any possible resolutions in the case.

Stay with NEWS9 and WTOV9.com for continuing coverage.

College embezzlement case headed to grand jury


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