Case of woman accused of using stolen money to pay bills headed - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Case of woman accused of using stolen money to pay bills headed to grand jury

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CLEVELAND, TN (WRCB) - The case of a Cleveland woman accused of using stolen money to pay other people's bills was bound over to the grand jury on Tuesday.

April Swafford is charged with criminal impersonation and theft over $1,000.

"She's a frequent flyer, or has been, and here she is giving away other people's money," Bradley County Judge Daniel Swafford said during April Swafford's first court appearance.


Swafford shook her head and threw her cuffed hands up in the air after after the judge refused to lower her bond.

Wesley Cranfield and Andrew Stecz had no idea how money was draining from one of their bank accounts.

"We put money in, went 20 minutes later to get something to eat, went home to pay bills, and the money was gone," Cranfield said after Swafford's hearing.

Meanwhile, Swafford was posting on Facebook, offering to pay off utility and credit card bills to anyone in need.

"I just figured, somehow or another he misfigured counting money paying bills and stuff. Then come to find out in January, that's not the case. She had been taking it all along," Cranfield said.

"It comes back to why? What is the benefit to the person that committed the crime?" said Cleveland Police Detective Matt Jenkins.

Jenkins said Swafford helped about 20 people, but attempted helping dozens more after the account was closed.

Destiny Arnold was one of them.

"I got a notice on my door that I had to come up with 500 dollars immediately within 24 hours, plus pay the bounced check fee," she told Eyewitness News.

"Thousands and thousands of dollars hit the bank account, but the account was closed. So it bounced off that and nothing was ever processed because the account was closed," Jenkins said.

Swafford has a criminal history that includes forgery charges.

Cranfield said he's distantly related to her through marriage, but doesn't understand why they were targeted.

"We have no idea," he said.

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