Monday, June 22, 2009
Former Oklahoma Auditor Indicted For Embezzling More Than $1 Million; Gambling Blamed
Roger Q. Melson, Jr., 55, of Edmond, Oklahoma, has been indicted on 174 counts of embezzlement for allegedly stealing some $1.16 million in royalty payments from the Commissioners of the Land Office for which he had served as an auditor. According to prosecutors, Melson embezzled the funds to feed a gambling habit and was a frequent visitor at Oklahoma City's Remington Park racetrack. In order to carry off the embezzlement, prosecutors allege that Melson allegedly created an entity called "Commissioner of the Land Office" and registered it with the secretary of state’s office. Melson's scheme was uncovered this past April after it had gone on for almost five years. His attorney blamed the thefts on Melson's apparent gambling habit, which he has had for some ten years.
Update (4/30/10): Melson's trial has been set for August 30th.
Update (8/28/10): Melson, now 56, pleaded guilty to 174 counts of embezzlement, admitted he stole $1.16 million and agreeing to make restitution.
Read an update of the story here.
Update (11/9/10): Melson was sentenced to 10 years in prison, plus 50 years of probation upon release. He must also make full restitution.