CONTACT: Lisa H. Shoemaker (601) 576-2645 or (601) 613-8518
DATE: August 25, 2011
Former Perry County Soil and Water Conservation Clerk Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement
(Jackson, Miss.) State Auditor Stacey Pickering announced today that Melanie Nobles has pled guilty to embezzlement following an investigation by the State Auditor’s Office. Nobles pled guilty to illegally issuing payroll checks to herself while working as the Clerk for the Perry County Soil and Water Conservation District during 2008. The total amount embezzled was $7,153.74.
“I appreciate Circuit Judge Bob Helfrich for taking a stand with the taxpayers to ensure that all cases of embezzlement are punished to the full extent of the law,” said State Auditor Stacey Pickering. “Nobles was ordered to 5 years probation and will have a felony conviction on her record following her completion of probation and payment of restitution.”
Nobles is no longer employed by the Soil and Water Conservation District but has repaid the entity the total amount embezzled. Nobles was ordered today to pay the investigative expense and interest on the amount embezzled along with court fees. Investigative costs and interest total $2,861.24. Other fees include a $1000 fine, $250 public defender fee and court costs. Nobles must complete community service while on probation.
Elected as Mississippi’s State Auditor in 2007, Stacey Pickering has recovered more than $4.8 million in embezzled, misspent or misappropriated funds. He is a seventh generation Mississippian from Jones County. Auditor Pickering currently serves on the Domestic Working Group for the Office of the Comptroller General of the United States. He also serves on the Financial Management and Intergovernmental Affairs and Performance Audit Committees for the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers and is a member of the National State Auditors Association. Prior to serving as State Auditor, Pickering served as a State Senator from 2004-2007 representing Jones County and is credited for co-authorizing legislation allowing Mississippi to end lawsuit abuse. Throughout his political career, Pickering has made tremendous strides in creating more accountability and transparency in government and continues to promote fiscal responsibility and the need for more efficiency and productivity in government. For more information on Stacey Pickering, visit www.osa.state.ms.us/auditors-bio.htm.