Ashland woman indicted on embezzlement charges

An Ashland woman has been indicted by a Jackson County grand jury on 10 charges for allegedly embezzling more than $100,000 from an Ashland business during the past five years, authorities said.

Marcella L. Arrington, 45, of the 900 block of Bellview Avenue, while an employee for Body Support Systems Inc., "was able for some time to skim money and cook the books," said Ashland Police Department Detective Sgt. Tighe O'Meara.

A grand jury indicted Arrington on June 20 on five counts of first-degree aggravated theft and five counts of first-degree theft.

The investigation took more than 10 months to piece together, O'Meara said.

"Embezzlement cases always take a lot of forensic accounting work," he said. "This turned out to be the case of a trusted employee stealing from the company."

The business's owner and management became suspicious and alerted police, O'Meara said. Arrington worked for more than 10 years at Body Support Systems Inc., which makes specialized support cushions used in massage, physical therapy, chiropractic offices and other medical settings at its Ashland-based facility on Benson Way, said Jerry Fuller, production manager there.

The company's vice president, Marni Owens, declined to comment on the investigation. The business is owned by her father, Thomas Owens, of Hawaii.

Arrington, whose first charge was for an incident dated Jan. 1, 2007, and last charge dated June 11, 2011, did not return phone messages left Tuesday. The investigation into Arrington's alleged activities extended back only five years, O'Meara said, because the statute of limitations has expired for types of misconduct similar to those Arrington has been accused of. That ruled out the possibility of investigating deeper into Arrington's career, he said.

"There may have been more in the past," O'Meara said, referring to Arrington's alleged crimes.

Fuller and Owens had no comment on whether Arrington might have gotten away with more money during the course of her employment.

Arrington is scheduled to be arraigned in Jackson County Circuit Court on July 10.

Reach reporter Sam Wheeler at 541-499-1470 or email swheeler@dailytidings.com.

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