Ex-Health Department worker sentenced for embezzling

JACKSON — Authorities say a former employee of the Mississippi Department of Health was sentenced yesterday to one year of house arrest after pleading guilty to embezzling more than $23,000.

State Auditor Stacey Pickering, in a news release, said that David Kweller, a former employee in the Professional Licensure Division, was sentenced in Hinds County Circuit Court.

Pickering said Kweller embezzled $23,650 of public funds from May 2010 to April 2012.

“Mr. Kweller was a state employee who was stealing from the taxpayers, and we are pleased that this case has been resolved,” Pickering said. “Once again, we are seeing Senate Bill 2625 take effect since Mr. Kweller is now prohibited from working for any governmental agency in Mississippi again.”

The State Auditor’s Office served a demand to Kweller yesterday totaling $42,089.65, the amount embezzled, which includes accrued interest and investigative costs.

In his position, Kweller was responsible for licensing and regulating various professions and he received payments in the form of cash, checks, and money orders for professional licenses and regulatory fines and penalties.

Kweller embezzled cash receipts, which were collected on behalf of the agency, including 105 separate deposits that consisted of 260 individual payments made to the Mississippi Department of Health.

This investigation began in June 2012 when the State Auditor’s Office received an internal audit referral from the Mississippi Department of Health alleging embezzlement of cash receipts.

Kweller, who had a previous felony conviction in 1990, worked for the Mississippi Department of Heath for more than 20 years and was terminated Nov. 21.

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