Police chief’s wife must pay $170,000 restitution

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Deborah Moates, wife of McKenzie Police Chief Craig Moates, who appeared in Williamson County Circuit Court Monday on theft charges will serve no jail time.

However, she is to pay restitution in the amount of $170,000 within six months to Wordsmith, LLC in Franklin and is to pay $9,210.50 in court costs, state and local taxes.

According to a clerk in the office, she pled under judicial diversion, meaning it’s not technically a guilty plea.

If she follows the rules of state probation for three years, she will be able to have the charges expunged (taken off) her record, the clerk said.

The Williamson County Grand Jury returned an indictment against her for theft between $60,000 and $250,000 on May 13. She was arrested on May 16 following a TBI investigation at the request of 21st Judicial District Attorney General Kim Helper.

Moates was a bookkeeper for a software business, Wordsmith, LLC, also known as Peino Studio, and doing business as Media Complete in Franklin. 

She was accused of allegedly using the business credit card for her personal use, overpaying her salary and transferring money from the company’s bank account into accounts of her family members.

Lee Ofman of Franklin served as her attorney.

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