Former Gregory/Dallas Chamber Director charged with embezzlement
The former chamber director is accused of using city funds for Amazon purchases, hotel stays and a spa day.
GREGORY, S.D. — The former Gregory/Dallas Chamber of Commerce director has been charged with embezzlement and resigned from his position late in 2022.
An investigation by the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation found that between March 2022 and January 2023, Trenton Seegers allegedly used checking withdrawal slips, ATM withdrawals, written checks, and a credit card to embezzle up to $7,800 from city accounts. The money was used for a variety of purchases, including payments to family, hotel stays, and Amazon purchases.
Seegers, 25, had held the position for just under a year, Gregory Finance Officer Alex Hamilton told the Mitchell Republic. After Seegers announced his resignation at a Gregory City Council meeting on Dec. 20, 2022, board members from the Gregory/Dallas Chamber of Commerce noticed that Seeger had discrepancies in his finances, Hamilton said.
Court documents say Hamilton provided financial records that show authorized and unauthorized purchases. The financial records shown in court documents include checking withdraw slips, ATM withdraws, written checks and credit card charges totaling $7,801.44.
On Jan. 6, 2023, the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation received a report that Seegers had misused funds. Three days later, a DCI agent and Gregory Police Chief Douglas Catts interviewed Seegers, presenting the bank and credit card transactions. Seegers admitted "he knew using the city of Gregory BankWest credit card was wrong for personal use," as detailed in a police report. Seegers is listed in court documents as a former city employee in his position as chamber director.
Seegers was charged with embezzlement on Jan. 23 of funds classed as grand theft valuing between between $5,000 and $100,000. Embezzlement is a Class 4 felony, of which there is a prison sentence of up to 10 years upon conviction, and a fine of up to $30,000. He pleaded not guilty on March 14.
Gregory is in south-central South Dakota, west of the Missouri River, located about 15 miles north of the Nebraska border.