STONE COUNTY, Miss. (WHLT) – On Monday, State Auditor Shad White announced special agents arrested former Stone County Circuit Clerk Jeffrey O’Neal. He was indicted on four counts of embezzlement in Stone County, and a $335,353.61 demand letter was presented to him when he was arrested.
O’Neal has been accused of embezzling money from Stone County by writing checks to himself instead of to the county general fund. He also allegedly embezzled money that should have been returned to crime victims. According to White, O’Neal embezzled more than $200,000 during his term as Stone County Circuit Clerk.
“I want to thank the teams across two different divisions at the auditor’s office—our investigators and the performance audit division—for their work on this matter,” said White. “We will hold elected officials accountable when they take more than they are allowed, particularly if the embezzled funds should have been returned to victims of crimes in Stone County.”
O’Neal was arrested at his current place of employment and taken to the Stone County Correctional Facility. His bond has not been set at this time.
If convicted on all counts, O’Neal faces up to 70 years in prison and $16,000 in fines.
In addition to O’Neal’s arrest, special agents issued individual demand letters to three current members and two former members of the Stone County Board of Supervisors. They are:
- Supervisor Clark Byrd – $36,085.32
- Supervisor Lance Pearson – $29,805.33
- Supervisor Daniel Harris – $24,698.22
- Former Supervisor Dale Bond – $36,085.32
- Former Supervisor Scott Strickland – $28,758.53
According to White, the amounts represent money improperly paid to O’Neal by the Board of Supervisors.