Dalton woman charged with theft from Northwest Georgia Family Crisis Center of approximately $85,000

A Dalton woman is charged with felony theft by taking after police said she used the credit card of an agency that provides services to victims of domestic violence to buy gift cards totaling approximately $85,000.

Amanda Carol Cunningham, 42, was booked into the Whitfield County jail on May 19. She was released the same day on $20,000 bond, according to a jail employee. A phone number for Cunningham could not be found.

Cunningham worked for the Northwest Georgia Family Crisis Center as the assistant director.

"Apparently, the staff at the crisis center noticed some irregularities on their Kroger credit card account and started to check into it and determined that a lot of large transactions had been made without authorization," said city of Dalton Communications Director Bruce Frazier.

A Dalton Police Department incident report said Kenneth Mishoe, the crisis center's attorney, contacted the department about "possible fraud" on April 23.

"At this point, from what we’ve been able to determine it looks like Ms. Cunningham had one of the cards on the account and has been using it to purchase gift cards, and at this point it looks like the total amount of these purchases is in the range of approximately $85,000," said Frazier. "This activity took place from last fall in October 2020 until being detected in April 2021."

Frazier said the investigation remains open.

Crisis center Executive Director Katora Printup said Cunningham no longer works for the agency and referred questions to Mishoe.

In response to questions, Mishoe sent a statement from the crisis center's board of directors:

"An internal audit by the Northwest Georgia Family Crisis Center revealed fiscal irregularities that resulted in the termination of Amanda Cunningham in late April. The irregularities were investigated by the crisis center’s independent auditors and the Dalton Police Department. The investigation by the Dalton Police Department resulted in the arrest of Ms. Cunningham for the felony charge of 'theft by taking' on May 19, 2021.

"The Board of Directors has provided oversight and direction throughout this matter. The Northwest Georgia Family Crisis Center has been serving domestic violence victims in our community for over 42 years. It provides much needed emergency shelter and outreach services to help victims feel safe and live a life free from violence. While the board cannot provide further comment on this matter during the ongoing investigation, our community can be assured that the crisis center will continue its important mission of advocating for domestic violence victims and their children."

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