Wendy Askins Indicted On State Charges

Wendy Askins Indicted On State Charges

By Phil Williams. CREATED Oct 8, 2013

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - A Putnam County grand jury has indicted the former head of the Upper Cumberland Development District (UCDD) on state charges, including theft over $60,000, forgery and money laundering.

Wendy Askins surrendered to authorities just before 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Putnam County Jail for booking on the three felony charges. She was later released on a $25,000 bond.

These latest charges follow her indictment nearly two weeks ago by a federal grand jury on a host of charges, including conspiracy, embezzlement, bank fraud and money laundering.

All of it stems from a scandal first exposed by NewsChannel 5 Investigates.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokesperson Kristin Helm said the charges relate to Askins' creation of a bogus set of minutes to cover up the transfer of $300,000 of agency funds to Living the Dream, an elegant home that was supposed to become a facility for needy seniors.

Askins also turned it into a home for herself and her daughter.

UCDD is an agency established by the legislature to create jobs and help the poor.

The investigation that led to these state charges was led by the TBI, the state comptroller's office, and the state attorney general's Office.

Askins made no comment as she was escorted into the jail for booking.

She is due back in court to answer the state charges on Nov. 12.

Back to NC5 Investigates: UCDD
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Phil Williams

Phil Williams

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Phil Williams is chief investigative reporter for NewsChannel 5's nationally award-winning investigative team. His investigations have earned him journalism's highest honors.