June 21, 2023

Former Holmes County Water and Soil Conservation District Secretary Arrested for Embezzlement

Morgan Howard

Source: MS Officer of the State Auditor
According to State Auditor Shad White, the former Holmes County Water and Soil Conservation Secretary was arrested for embezzlement.
Special agents arrested Melissa Upchurch and charged her with embezzlement.. Upchurch is the former District Secretary for the Holmes County Water and Soil Conservation District.
Upchurch is accused of issuing and then depositing district checks into her own bank account from June 2020 to September 2022. She was served with a $48,160.08 demand at the time of her surrender. The demand letter includes interest and investigative costs.
“I’m incredibly proud of the team at the State Auditor’s office. They have recovered more money in the last four years than any other four-year period in our state’s history,” said Auditor White. “This case adds another log to the fire that we’ve been building.”
Upchurch faces 20 years and $25,000 in fines if convicted on all counts.
All persons arrested by the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
District Attorney Akillie Oliver’s office will prosecute the case.
Suspected fraud can be reported to the Auditor’s office online at any time by clicking the red button on the Auditor’s website or via telephone during normal business hours at 1-(800)-321-1275.

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