The Nashville law firm of Harwell Howard Hyne Gabbert & Manner P.C., also known as H3GM, has been a victim of forgery and embezzlement at the hands of one of its bookkeepers.
According to multiple affidavits filed in Davidson County General Sessions Court, Claire K. Thurman (née Claire Harvey Hulsey) issued herself unauthorized checks from H3GM's escrow account.
Court records state that, "The check was issued to Claire Hulsey for $52,886.41. On 05/26/09 the defendant, Claire K. Thurman, went into the Regions Bank at 315 Deaderick Street Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee and deposited this check into her account. The defendant, Claire K. Thurman, later admitted to issuing this check out to herself and depositing it into her account. The defendant also stated she was not authorized to issue this check to herself. The defendant also admitted to forging the signatures of Mark Manner and Alix Cross on the check."
Another affidavit filed before the court shows that Thurman issued herself a check for $56,510.29 on June 22 of this year in the same manner that she had done a month prior.
Asked about the charges, Manner told NashvillePost.com that he couldn't get into details as there is an ongoing investigation into the matter.
Manner did state that, "Court records show two $50,000 checks. The amount is significantly higher than that. This occurred over a several-year period. It was a lot of money in an absolute sense, but it was insignificant to our revenues. It should be stressed that it was our money and not client money."
Discovery of the crime occurred as a result of a "internal audit," according to Manner.