Allison Burchett, Knox County Mayor’s ex-wife, charged with identity theft

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Allison LeeAnne Burchett, 33, is facing 13 different counts, some of which are related to Bandit Lites CEO Mike Strickland’s estranged wife, Nicole Strickland.

The counts range from July 3 to October 19, 2014. Seven are felonies; six are Class D felonies for allegedly stealing Nicole Strickland’s identity; one is a Class C felony for tampering with evidence. The other six counts are misdemeanors that include copying FaceBook and prescription data.

Burchett turned herself in to the Knox County Sheriff’s office Friday morning after being indicted by a Grand Jury earlier in the week.

Allison Burchett surrendered around 7:38 a.m. She bonded out shortly afterwards on a $10,000 bond.

The FBI Cyber Crimes Task Force raided Mike Strickland’s home and Bandit Lite’s home in May. Knox County Sheriff’s Office said they cannot confirm whether the charges are tied to a FBI raid, but Allison Burchett was dating Mike Strickland at the time of the raid and she worked for Bandit Lites.

After the raid, Michael Strickland’s attorney, Nate Evans, issued a statement saying the raid “was a result of a complaint made by Strickland’s estranged wife.” Margaret Held, Nicole Strickland’s divorce attorney, said Nicole and Michael have been going through a messy divorce for five years.

In 2012 questions were raised over checks written from Mayor Tim Burchett’s campaign account that Allison Burchett wrote to herself. Tim Burchett said his ex-wife spent the money on personal bills and credit cards. A state registry of election finance decided to take no further action.

When asked for comment on the indictment, Mayor Tim Burchett said, “That’s a chapter of my life that is closed and that I would like to remain that way.”


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