Former director of Bentonville treatment facility accused of using company’s credit card for personal use

Ashton Kelley
Ashton Kelley

BENTONVILLE -- The former executive director of an alcohol and drug treatment facility is accused of using a company credit card to purchase personal items.

Ashton Kelley, 24, of Pea Ridge was recently arrested in connection with theft of property. Prosecutors haven't filed any formal charges against him.

Kelley was the executive director of EagleCrest Recovery in Bentonville and he received a company credit card, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Julie Hernandez and Juan Hernandez, the owners of EagleCrest, reported in March to the Benton County Sheriff's Office claims about Kelley using the credit card for personal expenses, according to the affidavit.

Kelley once used the company's credit card to buy a soda and was told not to use the card for personal expenses, the affidavit states.

Juan Hernandez did an an internal investigation and learned over $25,000 worth of unauthorized charges were made for personal use on Kelley's company-issued credit card, according to the affidavit.

James Smith, a Sheriff's Office detective, was assigned the case. Smith discovered Kelley used the credit card to purchase tires for his truck for $1,423 from Firestone in Centerton, according to the affidavit.

Chris Jones, who was Kelley's assistant, told Smith that Kelley made small purchases such as diapers and he thought it was odd because EagleCrest doesn't allow children on the property, the affidavit states.

The affidavit claims Kelley used the credit card and spent thousands of dollars on guns and related items. Kelley told an owner of one of the gun businesses he was allowed to use the card as part of a partner agreement, according to the affidavit.

Ben Crabtree, Kelley's attorney, told the detective his client never used the company card for anything personal, the affidavit states.

Kelley is free on a $20,000 bond. His arraignment is set for 8 a.m. Jan. 2 in Benton County Circuit Judge Robin Green's courtroom.

  photo  Ashton Kelley

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