Former clerk accused of embezzling - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Jamel Major

Former clerk accused of embezzling

DESOTO COUNTY, MS (WMC-TV) - A former Mid-South court clerk is accused of embezzling thousands of taxpayer dollars.

Terry Swatsenberg is out of jail tonight on bond. She is the third government employee in DeSoto County to face embezzlement charges in just more than a year.

Swatsenberg is charged with embezzling tens of thousands of dollars from the city of Southaven where she formerly worked as a court clerk.

"Count one, she's charged with taking over $500. Count two, she's charged with taking over $10,000. That's all we know," Swatsenberg attorney Tony Farese said.

We spoke to Tony Farese, Swatsenberg's attorney by phone Wednesday. We were told Swatsenberg resigned from her job with the city earlier this year, where she handled court fines for traffic and other offenses.  Swatsenberg turned herself in earlier this week.

"Terry is of course presumed innocent and like any defendant we will defend her case to the fullest," Farese said.

We did a search for Swatsenberg's last known address.

It turned up this home in Southaven.

After a quick knock on the door, there was no answer. The home appeared to be vacant.

But a neighbor says Swatsenberg lived next door to him for a short period of time.

"Well...I know a man and a woman bought this house and I knew she worked for the city. Then they moved out," neighbor Peter Effinger said.

When I told Effinger about the charges he was a bit surprised.

"I think people just see an opportunity to get quick easy money. They take that opportunity and don't think about the consequences...unfortunately, it hurts everybody," Effinger said.

Meanwhile, Swatsenberg and her attorney will now await their day in court.

Click here to e-mail Jamel Major.

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