Jackson County presented with check to cover embezzlement

Published 4:38 pm Friday, August 3, 2007

The State Auditor’s Office presented Jackson County Circuit Clerk Joe Martin this week with a $100,000 insurance check to cover part of what an employee embezzled three years ago.

Martin’s deputy clerks are covered by a bond in case of an incident like embezzlement. Martin said Monday he has learned from the incident and now conducts criminal background checks on employees. He has also increased the bond to $150,000.

In 2003 and 2004, employee Lori A. Abel wrote checks to relatives, but sent them to her address and cashed them herself. Abel stole $139,125 from the county’s criminal and civil accounts over 10 months.

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Abel pleaded guilty in 2006 and was given five years to serve with five years’ probation, and was required to pay restitution, said District Attorney Tony Lawrence.

The State Auditor’s Office was involved in the investigation.