NKY visitors bureau official charged with theft, accused of sending $3.8M in vendor checks

NKY visitors bureau official charged with theft

COVINGTON, KY (FOX19) - Bridget Johnson was the finance director at the Northern Kentucky Convention and Visitors Bureau for 20 years until she was terminated Oct. 3.

A uniform citation accuses Johnson of sending online checks for $3,840,500 to several people who said they were vendors of the bureau. Police believe the crime took place from May 2017 until September 2018.

According to the citation, the people were real, but were never vendors that provided any service for the payment they were given.

Covington police say Johnson deleted the transactions that she presented to the board. She is also accused of using a bureau computer to make and delete the transactions.

She was arrested by Covington police Friday just before 10:30 a.m.

Johnson is charged with theft by unlawful taking or disposition $1,000,000 or more, abuse of public trust greater than $100,000 and unlawful access to computer first degree. Johnson is on electronic monitoring with a bond amount of $500,000.

Commonwealth Attorney Rob Sanders said charges against additional defendants are possible and that the investigation is ongoing.

Johnson plead not guilty at her court appearance on Nov. 19. Her bond was set at $500,000.

Johnson’s next court date is November 27.

The Northern Kentucky Convention and Visitors Bureau released a statement which reads, in part, “The CVB board is immensely disappointed that a trusted, 20-year employee allegedly exploited her position and leveraged our internal processes and safeguards we had in place for her personal gain by allegedly stealing organizational funds and betraying our trust. The CVB is currently evaluating and refining our internal controls and will make changes to ensure that similar criminal activity does not occur in the future.”

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