Former Exchange Club president arrested, accused of stealing $190K

  • Friday, March 28, 2014

Stefan Rogenmoser/Gazette Charleston County Sheriff's Office Assistant Sheriff Mitch Lucas speaks at a press conference Friday afternoon.

Former Exchange Club President Dennis Lott was apprehended and arrested the evening of Friday, March 28 in Walterboro.

Charleston County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Eric Watson said Lott was being transported to the Al Cannon Detention Center in North Charleston as of about 7:30 p.m.

The arrest ended without incident, according to Watson.

Lott is accused of writing a check to himself in the amount of $190,000 and cashing it on July 19.

The Exchange Club is in charge of running the annual Coastal Carolina Fair in Ladson.

CCSO held a press conference in North Charleston to discuss the case. CCSO Assistant Sheriff Mitch Lucas said deputies and Lott had made arrangements that he would bring himself in for questioning that day.

Lucas said at the time he had no reason to believe Lott would be a flight risk.

“In this kind of case, documentation is important,” Lucas said at the press conference. “We have reason to believe he wrote himself a check not for the benefit of the Exchange Club.”

The official charge is breach of trust, Lucas said.

“The criminal act is writing the check and cashing it for personal use,” Lucas said. “We found nothing that would have been an indication to keep an eye on him, no red flags.”

He was a longtime member of the Exchange Club.

He signed the check with his own name and made it out to himself. In his role as president he wrote checks to various organizations, according to Lucas.

The suspicion came to light after the Exchange Club performed a forensic audit.

“We’ve been on this case for 28 hours,” Lucas said. “This would be considered a white-collar crime. These kind of cases rely almost entirely on documentation.”

Lott could likely face up to 10 years if convicted, Lucas said.

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