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Former EDC Executive Director Arrested

On Felony Theft Charges

An enhanced second-degree felony charge of theft over $20,000 and less than $100,000 has been filed against former Teague Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Crystal LaShane Criddle, 37, of Teague,

Criddle, escorted by her lawyer Stephen Keathley, of Corsicana, turned herself into the Freestone County Sheriff?s Department on April 18th and was released from jail the same day after posting a $5,000 bond. The charge was enhanced because she allegedly embezzled money from the Teague EDC, which is a non-profit entity.

According to information from an affidavit filed by Sgt. Clayton Aldrich of the Freestone County Sheriff?s Department before Pct. 1, Justice of the Peace Theresa Ferris, Sgt. Aldrich began investigating the alleged charges after meeting with former Teague City Administrator Vincent DiMaggio and Finance Manager Melinda McGlone on February 22, 2013.

Following Criddle?s termination from her position with the Teague EDC, DiMaggio was directed by the Teague City Council to oversee the day-to-day operations of the EDC. The affidavit says that DiMaggio directed Finance Manager McGlone to take over the accounts payable function of the EDC operations, which is when McGlone allegedly found discrepancies in the Quick Books Accounting and Prosperity Bank checking account statements. Reviewing the books revealed where Criddle had allegedly written an extra payroll check three separate times totaling $3,449.74 without authorization from the EDC Board, and without reporting the additional income to the IRS. Criddle also allegedly attempted to delete certain accounting items on the Quick Books account, which was stored on a computer.

The audit performed by the City Staff allegedly discovered where numerous personal unauthorized purchases were made using the EDC MasterCard. The affidavit filed by Sgt. Aldrich says, ?Along with the payroll thefts, Crystal Criddle also stole approximately $30,000 through the use of the Teague Economic Development MasterCard credit card that was issued to her.

With information provided by the City of Teague?s audit, Sgt. Aldrich says he was able to ascertain that approximately $30,000 worth of personal expenditures of Criddle?s was paid by the Teague Economic Development Corporation between March 2010 and December 2012, which was her period of employment.

Aldrich added that Criddle was able to obtain the payments from the EDC by submitting the MasterCard bill to the EDC board of directors under the pretense that all of the expenditures were EDC related. Aldrich concluded that there were only a few areas in all the EDC MasterCard statements between March 2010 and December 2012 where it appeared that Criddle was actually involved in some sort of EDC business.

Information concerning Criddle?s arrested will be presented to a Freestone County Grand Jury in the near future for possible indictment on the charges being brought against her. Criddle was selected as Citizen of the Year in 2012 by former recipients of the award and was serving as the President of the Teague Chamber of Commerce and Teague Rotary Club when she was terminated by the EDC.

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