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Ex-Merkel city secretary indicted again, accused of stealing $30,000-$150,000

Gwendolyn Tarpley Wetsel

The former Merkel city secretary accused of stealing from the city was indicted on new charges.

Gwendolyn Tarpley Wetsel, 56, was indited Thursday by a Taylor County grand jury for theft and forgery.

The indictment was sealed until her arrest on Friday.

According to the indictment, Wetsel stole between $30,000 and $150,000 from the city between May 20, 2010 and February 17, 2017.

The theft may be related to online gambling, according to court documents.

Merkel city officials contacted the Texas Rangers about missing money in February 2016.

The Rangers discovered Wetsel had allegedly been writing checks to herself and then deleting record of the checks once they cleared the bank. Wetsel would then alter the amounts of legitimate checks to cover the amount taken, the documents show.

The investigation discovered Wetsel changed the billing address of her city-issued credit card to her home address, so she would get the statements there.

The credit card company told the city there was an outstanding balance of $11,024.48.

Monthly cash advances of $200 to $800 were being obtained and there were numerous online purchases of online gambling credits on that card.

Westel is out of jail on $20,000 bond.

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