A former official with a tiny Saluda County town now faces embezzlement charges after investigators say she misused more than $10,000 in town funds.
New warrants from the State Law Enforcement Division say 63-year-old Ellen Long is charged with embezzlement of public funds, breach of trust with fraudulent intent and forgery. Investigators say Long used her position as town clerk in Ward to make credit card payments and endorse checks to herself for more than a decade with town funds.
Investigators say Long misused the money between January 2003 and August 2014, often endorsing checks for her husband and herself for “cash, fraudulent services, items and equipment,” according to an affidavit. SLED officials said investigators were able to document the check use through financial records. No amount was given, other than her charge under state statutes for crimes involving $10,000 or more.
SLED says Long confessed to the charges. She faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine at the discretion of the court.
Ward is small town of about 100 residents that is located roughly 40 miles west of Columbia.