Martinez man charged in $200,000 embezzlement

Charles Holtzclaw

A Martinez man has been charged with violation of Georgia’s racketeering laws for what authorities say was a scheme in which he stole more than $200,000 from a building materials company.

Meanwhile, a resolution also seems to be getting closer for a major embezzlement case from an Evans neighborhood.

Charles Holtzclaw, 26, turned himself in to the Co­lum­bia County Detention Cen­ter on Friday and was released after posting $25,000 bond, according to jail records.

He had been interviewed by investigators earlier in the week regarding thefts last fall from Howard Lumber Co. in Evans. He was allowed to turn himself in by the end of the week, Columbia County sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris said.

Charged under the Racke­teer Influenced and Cor­rupt Organizations Act, Holtz­claw worked as a salesman for Howard Lumber. He is accused of brokering deals for building materials and keeping the payments, then covering the thefts by charging the material to other accounts, Morris said.

“It’s over $200,000,” he said.

Holtzclaw was “pocketing money received from customers for materials purchased from the business. He would create a fictitious work order, then bill the cost of the material to another customer’s credit account to cover up the money he took,” according to an incident report.

“Howard is out the materials and the money for those materials,” Morris said. “I haven’t heard of any restitution” being made.

Meanwhile, Columbia County authorities continue to investigate the theft of an estimated $192,000 over the past five years from the Stratford Property Owners Association, in which the former treasurer of the group is a suspect and “continues to cooperate” in the inquiry, Morris said.

Charges could be made in the next month or so, he speculated.

 

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