Athens-Clarke Police arrest two men for stealing government money

- Police arrested two Athens men Wednesday for a scheme investigators believe went back five years and resulted in the theft of as much as $100,000 of taxpayer money.

Officers with the Athens-Clarke County Police Department took Jamison Goolsby and Bobby Wright into custody after a month-long investigation. Goolsby has served as the plant supervisor for Athens-Clarke County's North Oconee Water Reclamation Facility since 2013. Wright is the owner of Wright and Wright Janitorial, Inc., a county vendor since 2012.

According to officers, the pair schemed together to steal money from the county.

"Mr. Goolsby was submitting an invoice to finance for a product that the government was not receiving," explained Capt. Jerry Saulters, with the police department's Criminal Investigations Division. "That was made out to the Wright and Wright Janitorial."

Investigators said Wright would cash the checks and then split the money with Goolsby. The invoices were usually around $900 per week. County officials noticed something off last month and asked police to look into the matter.

"I would say that Athens-Clarke County does a really good job of checks and balances, but the way this was done and kept at that dollar amount is how it continued and stayed under the radar for a long time," said Capt. Saulters.

Both Goolsby and Wright are charged with felony theft by deception, though investigators could add more counts. Capt. Saulters said the county will likely have to bring in an auditor to uncover all the fraudulent transactions. In the meantime, they have asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to assist them.

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