The former accountant for the city of Dunbar waived her preliminary hearing in Kanawha County Magistrate Court Monday.
Reneda Lynn Welch waived her right to have a magistrate determine if there was enough probable cause in the case against her in order for it to be sent to a grand jury.
Without the preliminary hearing, the case against Welch will be bound over for a prosecuting attorney to present to a Kanawha County grand jury, which will decide whether there’s enough evidence for Welch to stand trial for the crime of which she’s accused.
Welch, 39, of Hamlin, was arrested on April 27 and charged with one count of embezzlement.
She’s accused of embezzling more than $200,000 from the city government over the course of about two years, according to the criminal complaint filed in magistrate court.
Investigators with the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office and the West Virginia State Auditor’s Office conducted the 2-year investigation.
West Virginia State Auditor J.B. McCuskey said Welch embezzled the money by using “ghost accounts,” where she could hide the city’s money for personal use.
The investigation into the alleged embezzlement began in September 2016, Sheriff’s Detective J.A. Payne said in the criminal complaint.
A forensic audit completed by the Auditor’s Office showed that approximately $203,000 was missing, Payne said in the complaint.
Welch is free on bail, according to magistrate court records.