Driver reportedly pleads guilty to theft of money from company

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A former employee of Paul Ray Trucking Co. reportedly has pleaded guilty to theft of property and was sentenced to repay $5,000 as his share of money stolen from the company. Dennis L. Wright, 56, of Murfreesboro, Ark., pleaded guilty Wednesday, Jan. 24, in Howard County Circuit Court, Ninth Judicial District Prosecutor Tom Cooper told the Texarkana (Ark.) Gazette.

The newspaper reported that Wright originally was charged with theft of property, along with Charles A. Ogden, 36, of Mineral Springs, Ark.; and Tony R. Gamble, 48, and Beth Mooneyhan, 35, both of Nashville, Ark. Wright, Ogden, and Gamble were truck drivers with the company and Mooneyhan an office employee, according to the Gazette; the four employees were arrested Nov. 29 and released on bond from the Howard County jail.

According to the newspaper, the arrest warrant states Nikki Ray — a bookkeeper and daughter of Paul Ray, owner of the Nashville-based trucking company — notified law enforcement authorities Nov. 28 of suspected discrepancies in accounts at the company. The report states someone in the company office authorized cash advances on drivers’ fuel cards for more than company policy permitted. The records showed one driver had been overpaid on several occasions, and the three drivers received cash advances without having their payroll deducted. The drivers allegedly would divide the extra pay and overages with Mooneyhan, the Gazette reported.

According to the Gazette:

  • Wright made a statement in the arrest warrant saying the thefts shared between him and Mooneyhan were $2,000 to $4,000.
  • Gamble said in the statement the thefts shared between him and Mooneyhan were $16,000 to $18,000.
  • Ogden said in the statement his split on the thefts between him and Mooneyhan were $5,000 to $6,000.
  • The report alleges the loss to the company was between $20,000 and $30,000.