Former official accused of theft from Benton County agency

VINTON (AP) — Authorities have accused a former executive director of a Benton County economic development group with using its money to make personal purchases.
Online court records say 46-year-old Ranae Becker is charged with theft. A phone listed for Becker in Vinton rang unanswered Wednesday. Online court records don’t list the name of an attorney who could comment for her.
A state audit report issued Wednesday says auditors have identified more than $49,600 in improper and unsupported disbursements from the Benton Development Group from January 2009 through August 2014. The report says the improper disbursements include more than $17,400 of improper purchases with the group’s credit card and more than $12,800 of improper payroll disbursements to Becker.
Benton Development Group helps communities, individuals and businesses with economic growth.