Financial files missing from state treasurer’s office; SBI charges Raleigh woman

Tanika Nichole Lucas
Tanika Nichole Lucas CCBI

A woman who began working at the state treasurer’s office last June was arrested Thursday night on two charges of embezzling state property after files containing financial-transaction information were discovered missing.

Tanika Nichole Lucas, 40, was arrested at a townhouse on Eaglestone Lane in Raleigh and held in lieu of $100,000 pending a court appearance.

Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said Friday that the files contained information about state financial transactions.

Investigators have not found the files, Freeman said. She said the case is “an active, ongoing investigation” and that it was not yet clear why someone would want the files.

The treasurer’s office issued a statement saying, “Earlier this week, employees from the Financial Operations Division (FOD) at [the treasurer’s office] noticed a number of files were missing from a secure area at the division’s facility on Atlantic Avenue.”

It said the financial division “is currently assessing the impact on operations due to the removal of the files.”

An arrest warrant that the State Bureau of Investigation swore out Thursday includes two counts of the felony charge and alleged they happened sometime in December.

The section of state criminal law under which Lucas was charged says embezzlement of state property can be a Class C or Class F felony, depending on the value involved. The charges did not put a value on the files.

State records show that Lucas was hired as an administrative support specialist at the treasurer’s office on June 5. Her salary was listed as $35,000 a year.

A spokesman for the treasurer’s office said Friday that Lucas “is no longer employed” there, but said personnel regulations prevented saying if she resigned or was fired.

The arrest warrant listed the townhouse as Lucas’ address, but she gave booking officials at the Wake County Detention Center a home address on Newcombe Road.

Lucas’ arrest came less than a month after former Wake County Register of Deeds Laura Riddick and three former employees in her office were indicted on charges of embezzling more than $1.13 million over the course of six years.

Ron Gallagher: 919-829-4572, @RPGKT