Suspect is married to officer in Veazie-abuse case
Officer claims he didn’t know she had an extra $50,000 a year
HARDY, Ark. – Jerry Musick had over $150,000 stolen from his business which has never been repaid. Now, the IRS wants him to pay taxes on those earnings.
“The IRS has put a lien on my business for the amount of money she took and didn’t pay,” Musick told NEA Report. “That’s my problem. The IRS is after me for $50,000 of the $150,000 she took. She’s been trying to offer $15,000.”
“She” is Mandy Marie Trivitt, 44, of Cherokee Village. Last year, she was charged with theft of property, second-degree forgery, and fraudulent use of a credit or debit card. Between October, 2014 and March, 2017, Trivitt allegedly stole $152,898 of money from Musick Pest Control, LLC. 44 Liberty Hill Road, Hardy, Arkansas.
We interviewed Musick on Thursday about how this all happened and the effects he is currently facing. He said Trivitt had total control of all the money and he trusted her too much. She had worked for him for 14-years. But it was in March, 2017 that his health insurance costs were increasing so he went to the bank. He began looking at the back at his old accounts and found an account he asked Trivitt to close in 2014. It was an account from which Trivitt could write checks.
This was how Musick said she used his work to fund her life.
“Mandy was putting Musick Pest Control checks in that account and she was taking two employee debit cards, plus checks, and everything she was paying was her personal stuff, her bills, her car payments, her light bill, everything,” Musick said. “Even stuff from Victoria Secret and Bed Bath & Beyond. She was buying sporting equipment for her son.”
Musick was devastated to learn his long-time trusted employee had betrayed him. He sent her a text on March 31 and Trivitt admitted to stealing the money, he said. As he went over all the details closely, he would learn how far back the betrayal went. But before he could file charges with the authorities, Musick received a visit from Trivitt’s husband: Cherokee Village Police Officer Josh Trivitt.
“When she first got caught, two days later, I hadn’t filed charges and hadn’t even talked to the police,” Musick said. “I got visited by her husband, which is Josh, and they offered me $50,000 on the front end to not do anything. Forget about the debt, forget about filing charges, and I refused. They were going to get that money from her dad – and that’s what he told me. Her dad is [Russell Truitt] the mayor of Highland.”
At the time, Musick wanted the entire amount of money taken from him back. He refused the officer – a decision he seems to regret one year later as he faces pressure from the Internal Revenue Service. Since then, he said the Trivitt’s have offered to settle several times but for far less. He said she’s tried offering $15,000.
While Musick tries to collect back his money, the IRS is looking to collect back taxes on his earnings which were stolen. They’ve placed a lein on his business and have put a considerable amount of pressure on him to pay almost $50,000 in taxes, late fees and penalties on money he earned but never spent.
“That hurt me,” Musick said over a year later, still clearly bothered. “They hurt me bad.”
Surprisingly, Musick said the officer claimed he had no knowledge of the origin of his wife’s unexplained personal fortune. This was difficult for Musick to believe, since some of the expenditures in the account included a $522-per-month car payment, a $419-per-month storage shed payment and even grocery trips.
“I was even buying groceries for the family and at the end of the deal, she would get cash,” Musick said. “She hit the cash button and would get two or three hundred out in cash.”
Trivitt told investigators she let the scheme “snowball” but hearing that upset Musick, as it seemed to remove her from the responsibility of her own decisions she made each day to continue taking money from the business. Musick described how Trivitt would tell him they could not afford expenses as a business while she was keeping his money to pay her personal bills – all while still being paid her standard wages. He said the financial part hurt him but he seemed more bothered by the deception.
“If you go back to it, the friendship we had, the trust I had in her, and all of that, and she was running the whole financial part of my business – and just driving it into the ground,” Musick said. “Every decision she would make would be to make sure she got her money.”
Along the way, Trivitt tried to apologize to Musick but he didn’t want to meet with her. She eventually sent him a hand-written letter admitting to the crimes while claiming her police-officer husband was disappointed to learn about it (after having benefited for three-years of having an extra $50,000 in household income and never realizing something was wrong).
A text message sent in May, 2017 shows what appears to be Trivitt begging Musick not to pursue charges against her, despite her substantial theft which lasted for years. The daughter of the Highland mayor and wife of the Cherokee Village police officer attempts to gaslight the victim in the text by making him feel like he is the one who would be sending her “to prison” for reporting her for her crimes.
Musick said Trivitt had been accused of stealing at her previous job at Terminix before he hired her but no criminal charges came of the incident. He believed in Trivitt – a decision which has cost him greatly.
The business owner is hopeful of justice prevailing in the case. He said he has been told Third Judicial District Prosecutor Henry Boyce has insisted some form of payment be made to him to at least cover the IRS debt. Musick said he has been told he will learn something before September 1.
As for business, Musick said it’s better than ever.
“We’re still in business and we’re going good…a heck of a lot better since she isn’t ripping me off every week.”