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Ex-Okla. Land Office auditor admits to embezzling

By Associated Press
Friday, August 27, 2010 12:39 EDT
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Former auditor for Commissioners of the Land Office in Oklahoma pleads guilty to embezzlement

A former auditor for the Commissioners of the Land Office in Oklahoma has pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $1 million from the agency.

Roger Melson pleaded guilty Friday to 174 counts of embezzlement and faces up to 20 years in prison on each count. Oklahoma County District Judge Kenneth Watson scheduled sentencing for Nov. 9.

Melson was director of audit for the royalty audit division. His job was to make sure oil and gas royalties from mineral leases on the lands were properly collected.

Defense attorney Billy Bock described Melson as a “gamblaholic” and says he took the money to feed a gambling habit that he has since overcome.

Melson is accused of taking $1.164 million from the office that manages lands for the state’s public schools.

Source: AP News

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