A Floyd County Grand Jury has returned a six-count indictment alleging four counts of theft by taking and two counts of theft by conversion against Meleah Beth Landers, longtime office manager at the West Rome Animal Clinic.
The indictment alleges that she took more than $250,000 over a seven year period of time. Seven years represents all the records that were available from Dr. Dan Pate’s bank during the investigation.
Pate explained that irregularities related to the financial records at the West Rome Animal Clinic were discovered in 2017. Representatives from a drug company contacted him to seek payment of a large bill, close to $100,000, which Pate thought had been paid. That prompted him to ask for a forensic investigation by local authorities. Rome police conducted the initial investigation over a three-month period of time.
As result of that investigation, a warrant for her arrest were issued in December of 2017 and Landers turned herself in at the Floyd County jail several days before Christmas to answer to the charges.
The original warrant alleged thefts, totaling $257,391.29, occurred between Jan. 1, 2010, through Oct. 10, 2017.
“The indictments are welcome news,” Dr. Pate said Saturday. “Our family at the West Rome Animal Clinic has been deeply wounded and look forward to justice being served.”
Pate said that he had to take close to $200,000 from his own personal funds to pay debts from the clinic that Landers had not taken care of. Much of that occurred about the time that Pate was building his new clinic on Shorter Avenue.
It took nearly two years to get the indictments because the GBI was called in to assist in the investigation and it took specialists in forensic fiscal investigation that long to get all of the paperwork in order to present to the Grand Jury.
The indictments returned by the Floyd County Grand Jury Friday are for theft by taking, and theft by taking in breach of a fiduciary obligation, theft by conversion and theft by conversion as a fiduciary obligation.