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Thousands of Dollars Allegedly Missing From County GOP Bank Account
Kaufman County GOP Chair says account was "hacked"
People are alleging thousands of dollars have gone missing from a county GOP bank account and so far nobody knows where it’s at or if they’re going to recover it.
In September of 2021, Coby Pritchett was elected as the county chair in a 12-7 vote. This was “history making”, as he was the youngest (23 years old at the time) Republican ever elected to serve as county chair.
Shortly after being elected, at the advisement of legal counsel, Coby made moves to review existing protocols and accounts in order to correct any errors.
One of the things he was advised to correct was the Kaufman County GOP bank account.
According to Kaufman County GOP lawyer, Elizabeth Alvarez, the county was operating both state and federal funds/activities out of a single bank account. So one of the first orders of businesses was to open a separate “state account” to get into compliance with law/regulations.
On 12/13/2021, $3,000 was transferred from one GOP bank account to the new “State Account”.
Less than a month later, the new state account had a negative balance of -$358.74.
Transactions from records we’ve reviewed reveal the following purchases in December of 2021:
$180.61 at Target.com
$2,300 sent via Cash App money transfer payments.
$1,100 to someone named “Kaitly”
$250 to someone named “Macken”
$150 to someone named “Blayne”
$200 to someone named “Laney”
$150 to someone named “Destin”
$250 to someone named “Chelse”
$100 to someone named “Kaylei”
$100 to someone named “Ashley”
Cash app payments have a 6 character limit when displaying on bank account statements.
$419.34 at Academy Sports in Terrell, Texas.
$125.82 at restaurants.
$234.06 at gas stations.
$98.91 in overdraft fees.
In the span of 22 days, the Kaufman County Republican Party state bank account went from $3,000 to a negative balance of -$358.74.
Furthermore, we checked every name on the Cash App payments and they all happen to match women that Pritchett is friends with on Facebook. Blayne was the only male on the list and Pritchett does have a friend on Facebook by the name of Blayne.
Kaufman county GOP members we spoke to claim that representatives at American National Bank of Texas made multiple attempts to inform/warn Pritchett of the negative balance but he never responded. Eventually the negative balance was offset by the other GOP account and the account was closed.
We reached out to Pritchett for comment and he confirmed he was the only authorized user/signer on the State account. Pritchett told us the account was “hacked” and that he has no idea what any of the charges are on the account, including the Cash App charges and Academy Sports charges. Pritchett told us he did not currently have a Cash App account but did have one when he attended college.
When we asked Pritchett when he began looking into the issues with the “hacked” account and the missing money, Pritchett stated that he instructed his “general counsel”, Elizabeth Alvarez, to begin investigating this on April 7th which, he states, was the day he was made aware of the issues with the account. Pritchett also confirmed that he hadn’t given any statements to police and wasn’t aware if the police had even been notified or if the bank was investigating the issue. When pressed on this he reiterated that his “legal team” was taking care of the issue with the “hacked” account.
We also received a copy of a cashier’s check made out to William Busby for the amount of $1,480 on 3/4/22. When we asked Pritchett about this cashier’s check he confirmed the money was for Busby to do “web design and social media work” for the Kaufman County GOP.
We reached out to Busby for comment and he confirmed he received a cashier’s check for $1,480. We asked Busby if he did web design, why the Kaufman web site had little to no changes between last year and now, what his relationship was with Pritchett, and how he felt about movies with gladiators in them. Busby responded that we would need to speak to Elizabeth Alvarez for answers to any of those questions.
We spoke to Elizabeth Alvarez, who represents the Kaufman GOP, at length yesterday. She confirmed that she had not received any bank information concerning fraud from Pritchett until last week Thursday, May the 5th. This is inconsistent with Pritchett’s statement that he ordered an investigation on April 7th. Alvarez also confirmed that the treasurer for the Kaufman GOP had been fired.
Alvarez told us she wasn’t aware of any missing money. That Pritchett did come by her office on Friday but she had been out sick. Alvarez also confirmed she personally had not filed any police reports or contacted the bank regarding any issues. Alvarez did confirm that Busby did more than just web design work for the Kaufman GOP. She indicated that Busby also did press releases, communication work, assistance with conventions among other things.
Our conclusion of this investigation is that something definitely happened. We aren’t sure exactly what.
We do find it odd that, Coby Pritchett, being the only authorized user/signer on the Kaufman GOP State account, took anywhere between 4-5 months to notice that thousands of dollars went missing, and that the account had gone into a negative balance with several overdraft charges. We also find it odd that his statement about when he advised Elizabeth Alvarez to begin investigating the “hacked” account conflicts with what Alvarez told us. We also wonder why Pritchett, knowing the bank account had been “hacked”, chose to get a lawyer involved instead of the bank or the police. Kind of like calling your lawyer instead of 911 when your house is on fire.
Someone should launch an investigation.
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