FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – A former member of the Florence County Economic Development Partnership was arrested Friday for embezzlement of over $10,000 of public funds, according to Captain Michael Nunn with the Florence County Sheriff's Department.
"You know, it's very disappointing especially in the Economic Development Offices. You have people out there that are professional people, that are trying to attract industry," said James Schofield, Florence County Chairman.
Aneesa Giles, 29, was arrested by the Florence County Sheriff's Office on Friday, January 10 on charges of embezzlement of public funds, value $10,000 or more, and was released from the Florence County Detention Center on Saturday, January 11, on a $1,500 bond, Capt. Nunn stated. The county Solicitor's Office is handling the case.
While an employee of Florence County Economic Development, Giles was issued a Florence County credit card for authorized business expenses. Investigators allege that Giles used the card for unauthorized personal expenses in excess of $10,000.
"From the tax payers stand point, you don't want it happening. But again, people at the county level and businesses level. You see it all the time. From Enron to everybody else around the country," said Schofield.
Giles is no longer an employee of the partnership, according to Florence County Council Chairman James Schofield. He says this is the first time in seven years that a county employee has faced charges like this.
Under South Carolina law, the embezzlement charge is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine at the discretion of the court.