Buckhannon woman charged with embezzling $16K from Upshur County Special Olympics

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BUCKHANNON – A Buckhannon woman has been charged with allegedly embezzling approximately $16,600 from the Upshur County Special Olympics over an approximate three-year period.

Charliena Jane Helmick Eubank Gilmore, 43, was charged Friday with embezzlement, a felony.

According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by investigating officer Lt. Mark Davis with the Upshur County Sheriff’s Department, over a roughly three-year period between December 2015 and February 2019 while she was serving as director of Upshur County Special Olympics, Charliena Jane (Helmick) Gilmore, formerly known as Charliena Jane (Helmick) Eubank, allegedly took approximately $16,662.79 from the Special Olympics of Upshur County.

The complaint says Gilmore “converted the money to her own use.”

“Documentation was made on the memo line of the checks by ‘Charliena Jane Eubank,’ showing items purchased and used for Special Olympics Upshur County, which they never received,” Davis wrote in the complaint. “This was done to cover up the financial report.”

Magistrate Kay Hurst set bail at $50,000 cash or surety, or 10 percent paid to the court. Gilmore was admitted to bail shortly after 3:30 p.m. Friday.

Gilmore provided a statement to My Buckhannon.

“A few years ago, during a very dark part of my life, I made some poor decisions for which I apologize,” she said. “These decisions have caused my life to fall apart. I have since corrected my actions. Each day is a struggle. I try to face each day knowing it is a new day with new possibilities. One day, I will get past this. For now, I thank my family and friends for sticking by me and knowing mistakes happen. I hope this is a lesson that all decisions have consequences and life will go on.”

Gilmore also said full restitution to Upshur County Special Olympics was made earlier this week.

When contacted for comment, Upshur County Special Olympics Director Alisa Lively sent the following statement: “The Upshur County Special Olympics Management Team (a volunteer organization) is aware of the situation at hand, and we are cooperating fully with the local authorities.”

“Our number one goal is to maintain the integrity of the programs and services that we provide to the special needs community of Upshur County and, most importantly, continue to meet their expectations of offering preparation, equipment needs and participation in state competitions, along with opportunities to gather monthly at their fun and educational events,” she added.

Lively’s statement notes Gilmore has not been associated with Upshur County Special Olympics since March 2019 and says the West Virginia Special Olympics state offices manages the bank account for the county.

Lively said Gilmore rendered a check in the full amount taken on Thursday, Nov. 14, to reimburse the Special Olympics.

The penalty for a conviction of embezzlement is imprisonment in the state penitentiary for not less than one year nor more than 10 years, or, in the discretion of the court, confinement in jail for up to one year and a fine of up to $2,500.