CHEROKEE COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – A Cherokee County bookkeeper was arrested on Friday after being indicted for theft by a public servant of more than $300,000, tampering with a government document and money laundering.

The Cherokee County District Attorney’s Office said Gina Upshaw was indicted on May 22 after a 15-month investigation by the Texas Rangers. Upshaw was employed at the Cherokee County tax office for a number of years as the Cherokee County Tax Accessor/Collector Bookkeeper.

Mugshot of Gina Upshaw.
Mugshot courtesy of the Cherokee County Jail.

According to her indictment, the alleged offenses happened between October 2016 and December 2021. The indictment stated that the $300,000 or more that Upshaw allegedly acquired were obtained through “one scheme or continuing course of conduct.”

The indictment also stated that on or around May 1, 2021, Upshaw made “a false entry in and/or an alteration of a government record, namely Texas Comptroller Form 14-207.”

Texas Comptroller Form 14-207 is an affidavit of motor vehicle gift transfer. The form must be submitted in person to the tax accessor-collector’s office by either the donor of the vehicle or the recipient. The indictment said that the alleged alteration of the document was “a change of amount.”

An auditor who had been hired by the county discovered discrepancies and reported them, Cherokee County District Attorney Elmer Beckworth said. Beckworth’s office was later contacted, and he said he immediately contacted the Texas Rangers, which is a standard practice in situations like these.

A forensic audit was received on May 19. The indictment said that over the years, Upshaw acquired $300,000 or more while working for the tax/accessor-collector’s office.

Though he couldn’t say if he anticipated this case going to trial, Beckworth said his office would be ready either way.

Upshaw has retained Frank Dobrovolny from Jacksonville as her attorney. Dobrovolny said they intend to enter a plea of not guilty and will let the facts speak for themselves, adding that they don’t want to try this case in the media.

“We look forward to representing her and getting a hold of the discovery materials as we have a chance to go through those,” Dobrovolny said.

Upshaw was booked into the Cherokee County Jail on Friday and her bond amount totaled to $250,000 for all three charges.

“Any further public comment will be limited until after the trial,” the district attorney’s office said.