Ashland woman pleads not guilty in embezzlement

An Ashland woman has pleaded not guilty in Jackson County Circuit Court to charges that she embezzled more than $100,000 from an Ashland business over five years, court records show.

Marcella L. Arrington, 45, of the 900 block of Bellview Avenue, was arraigned Monday on five counts of first-degree aggravated theft and five counts of first-degree theft.

A 10-month investigation by the Ashland Police Department was initiated after the owner and management at Body Support Systems Inc. became suspicious of Arrington, who was employed as the business' bookkeeper for 10 years before last June, said Ashland police Detective Sgt. Tighe O'Meara.

A Jackson County grand jury indicted Arrington June 20 on the 10 charges.

The company's vice president, Marni Owens, declined to comment on the case. The business, which makes specialized support cushions used in massage, physical therapy, chiropractic offices and other medical settings at its Ashland-based facility on Benson Way, is owned by her father, Thomas Owens, of Hawaii.

Arrington's charges stem from incidents that allegedly occurred between Jan. 1, 2007, and June 11, 2011, court records show.

The statute of limitations on crimes similar to those for which Arrington has been accused expires after five years, ruling out the possibility of investigating deeper into Arrington's career, O'Meara said.

Arrington did not return phone messages left Wednesday.

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