A Southmayd couple accused of embezzling at least $79,000 from their former employer were indicted by a Grayson County Grand Jury this week.

Rusty and Ashley Belcher, both 36, were arrested in early October and charged with felony theft after the owner of 69/82 Metal Recyclers in Denison approached the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office with allegations that the two employees stole money from the business between March 2017 and June 2018. The indictment is a formal charge and not an indication of guilt.

“Investigators conducted an audit of the financial records of the business and interviewed the suspects,” GCSO Lt. John Holloway said in an Oct. 12th email sent to the Herald Democrat. “The Sheriff’s office determined that there was probable cause for the offense of Theft $30K

A message seeking comment from the Belchers’ attorney, Jason Butscher, was not immediately returned Thursday afternoon.

In a previous interview, 69/82 Metal Recyclers owner Jeff Hill said Rusty Belcher had worked at his business for five years and Ashley Belcher for two years, but the pair’s behavior in recent months had caught his attention, as well as that of his staff. Hill said he and his employees saw the Belchers make expensive purchases on items like an RV and that they had spent a considerable amount of time and money gambling at an area casino.

“The first flag was them living beyond their means,” Hill said. “It started off small, but toward the end, it just started increasing rapidly.”

Hill said the couple was responsible for issuing tickets that stated the approximate weight and value of inventory received and submitting the tickets to the business for payout. While Hill said he and his staff were suspicious of the couple for some time, the two regularly produced balanced tickets and figures. Hill said he eventually reviewed tickets and surveillance footage dating back more than a year and called the Sheriff’s Office after he believed he had amassed enough evidence to show the Belchers’ were duplicating tickets, altering the numbers and collecting the payments. Though the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office estimated the total sum taken at $79,000, Hill said he believed it was possible that the Belchers may have taken more from the business.

An arrest warrant was issued for the Belchers on Oct. 2 and the two were located and taken into custody on Oct. 9. Both were booked into the Grayson County Jail but were released the following day after posting a bond of $7,500 each.

A search of the county’s online court calender did not identify a date for the next scheduled proceeding.