Mississippi News

Former county water and soil conservation official arrested for embezzlement

Credit: State Auditor Shad White news release

Photo: Melissa Upchurch (Courtesy photo)

Mississippi State Auditor Shad White announced special agents from his office have arrested Melissa Upchurch, the former District Secretary for the Holmes County Water and Soil Conservation District. Upchurch is charged with embezzlement.

Upchurch is accused of issuing and then depositing district checks into her own bank account from June 2020 to September 2022. Upchurch 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.

Bob Bakken

Bob Bakken is the most recognized and most trusted name in DeSoto County news and sports reporting, as readers continue to express their appreciation for his accuracy and fairness in the stories he writes. Bob is also heard on 95.3 The Rebel twice a week with sports updates and high school football play-by-play broadcasts in the fall. A former newspaper editor and writer, his award-winning background also includes television news producing, sports media relations, and radio broadcasting.

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