Affidavit: Former animal society pres. cashed checks, kept money

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The former Charleston Animal Society president accused of spitting soup multiple times on another board member's car has been charged with embezzling funds.

State Law Enforcement Division agents arrested 56-year-old Charles Karesh and charged him with embezzlement of public funds, value $10,000 or more, a SLED source told Reporter Harve Jacobs on Friday.

The felony charge holds a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

Karesh stepped down from the Charleston Animal Society in 2011 after an internal audit uncovered $71,388 in returned checks and bank fees were charged to the organization between September 2007 and September 2011.

According to an affidavit, Karesh wrote a number of personal business checks made out to the Charleston Animal Society, cashed the checks at the animal shelter, and kept the money for himself.

Karesh is expected in bond court at 10 a.m.

Last week, Karesh was arrested and charged with malicious injury to a person in connection with an alleged soup-spitting incident.

On Dec. 27, police met with the victim at a home on Cumberland Street regarding vandalism to his car. The victim said on Christmas Eve and on several other occasions, someone spit what appeared to be soup on the trunk of his car which caused minor damage to the paint of the vehicle.

According to investigators, the victim hired a private investigator who videotaped Karesh vandalizing the victim's vehicle on at least one occasion.

The victim said he believed that Karesh may be holding a grudge against him for that case.

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