Covington woman, others charged in forgery scheme

COVINGTON -- A Covington woman faces 192 counts of forgery in Covington and 195 counts of theft by taking in Conyers in connection with a theft from her employer, according to the Covington and Conyers police departments.

Tiffany Lee Hewell, 30, is being held without bond in the Newton County Detention Center charged with forgery in the third degree (92 felony counts), forgery in the fourth degree (100 misdemeanor counts) and party to a crime (192 counts). She also faces the 195 counts of theft by taking in Rockdale County.

Covington authorities have Hewell's address as 70 Riverbrook Trail and Conyers authorities have a second address of 135 Heaton Place Trail, both of which are in Covington.

According to press releases from the police departments, Hewell worked in the accounting department of Crown Communities, located at 1371 Dogwood Drive, Conyers.

"Her employer became aware of missing checks in mid-February and conducted an audit. They realized they were missing $255,139.43 in funds," said Covington Police Capt. Ken Malcom. "Hewell, when questioned by her employers, left the business and later sent a message apologizing for her involvement."

An investigation by Crown Communities found that the checks had been cashed in Covington at a business known as the Big EZ on Washington Street, Malcom said.

"Lt. Paul Dailey of the Covington Police Department began his investigation and he uncovered that between February of 2011 and February of 2013 Ms. Hewell had nine associates cashing checks at the Washington Street location. These associates would keep a portion of the money and then return the majority of the funds to her," Malcom said.

In working with Crown Communities in Conyers, the Conyers Police Department issued a statement that their embezzlement investigation has uncovered a total of 195 stolen and forged checks with an undisclosed value.

Also arrested by Covington authorities in connection with the case are Darrell McKibben, 49, 13904 Ga. Highway 36, Covington, who has been charged with 37 felony counts of forgery and 31 misdemeanor counts of forgery and Barry Johnson, 42, of 720 Stewart Road, Covington, who has been charged with 22 felony counts of forgery and 28 misdemeanor counts of forgery.

The Covington Police Department has also issued warrants for the following individuals:

-- Crystal Thrasher, 28, 11 counts of felony forgery and 22 counts of misdemeanor forgery;

-- Wilson Lamar Price, 38, 22 counts of felony forgery and one count of misdemeanor forgery;

-- Timothy Sims, 40, seven counts of misdemeanor forgery;

-- Darrick Howard, 38, three counts of misdemeanor forgery;

-- Jason Myers, 41, three counts of misdemeanor forgery;

-- Shalter Lashawn Rogers, 30, two counts of misdemeanor forgery;

-- Antonio Howard, 33, two counts of misdemeanor forgery.

The joint investigation by the Covington and Conyers police departments is ongoing.