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The Journal Gazette

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018 1:00 am

Ex-LaGrange official charged

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

A former LaGrange County economic development official faces felony theft charges after allegedly using his county-owned credit card at a Michigan casino.

Ryne Krock, 26, was hired in 2015 as president and CEO of the LaGrange County Economic Development Corp. He began using his agency-issued Visa card a year later at Firekeepers casino in Battle Creek, Michigan, according to court documents filed in LaGrange Superior Court.

An investigation by Indiana State Police found that Krock allegedly made purchases ranging from $235.40 to nearly $1,500 at the casino from June 2015 to December last year. One stop at the gambling establishment in September netted 13 charges worth $1,498, court documents say.

“There were several other charges made at casinos that are not listed,” state police Detective David Poe wrote in a probable cause affidavit. “These charges went unnoticed until Dec. 19, 2017, (and) Krock was later terminated from his position.”

Poe was asked to investigate in January after the economic development agency hired an outside firm to conduct an audit. He found $3,969.33 in unauthorized charges to the card.

Court documents say Krock was asked in December to account for unauthorized charges, and he provided agency officials with a 12-page spreadsheet containing more than $7,400 “in charges he stated were 'inappropriate charges or those that I suspect could be.'”

“Krock denied that his card was ever lost or stolen,” Poe wrote in the affidavit. “Firekeepers records indicated that he used his player's card on Sept. 30, 2017, and lost approximately $448.50 that day.”

Krock turned himself in Tuesday at the LaGrange County Jail in LaGrange and remained there Tuesday afternoon.

Officials at the agency referred questions to Mark Eagleson, chairman of the Economic Development Corp. board. He did not return messages seeking comment.