Officials accused of embezzling nearly $400,000 to buy over 75 guns

PONTOTOC, Miss. (WJTV) — State Auditor Stacey Pickering’s office confiscated more than 75 firearms after a former Chief of Police and City Clerk allegedly stole nearly $400,000 to purchase the guns.

On Tuesday, September 12, Special Agents from the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor arrested former Ecru Mississippi City Clerk Gretchin Moody, and former Ecru Mississippi Chief of Police Paul Martin Blaylock for embezzlement.

They issued demands of $393,085.56, which includes interest and investigative costs added to the amount embezzled.

Pontotoc County grand jurors indicted the two former Ecru officials Monday on three counts of embezzlement and one count of fraud. The indictment accuses Moody of stealing $128,000 in town court fines and $69,000 in payroll, plus abusing town credit cards in the amount of $46,000 in personal purchases.

Blaylock is accused of sending in fake statements that led to unearned overtime payments from a state program that pays police officers to enforce traffic laws, as well as bilking the town for additional unearned overtime. Ecru officials notified Pickering after finding accounting problems.

Authorities siezed more than 75 guns.

“The auditors and investigators in the State Auditor’s Office are crucial in unraveling schemes by some public official to steal from the taxpayers,” said General Hood. “I applaud their efforts to hold officials accountable and deter others from getting greedy.”

“I appreciate the work of Jim Hood and the Attorney General’s Office in assisting in prosecuting this case along with the hard work of the OSA team,” Pickering said. “Any time public funds are embezzled, it is a travesty, especially in towns like Ecru where the trust of neighbors, friends, and family is betrayed.”



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