Michigan employee pleads guilty to embezzling over $ 855,000

By on September 1, 2021 0

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – A former state employee pleaded guilty in Michigan court Tuesday to embezzling more than $ 855,000 from the state.

Joseph Pettit, who worked for the State Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, was responsible for issuing performance bonds to companies that drill or operate gas and oil wells, when the ownership changes hands. Instead of returning the obligations to the original owners, Pettit invented the sellers and diverted the obligations to bank accounts he set up for the sellers.

Pettit pleaded guilty to two misappropriation of funds over $ 100,000, punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine. He also pleaded guilty to a felony involving forgery and subsequent transmission of documents, punishable by up to 14 years in prison.

He should serve a prison sentence and pay the $ 855,690 he embezzled as part of the plea, according to a press release from the Michigan attorney general’s office.

“This appeal brings us one step closer to accountability in this matter and, therefore, justice for the people of Michigan,” Attorney General Dana Nessel said in the press release.

Pettit is due to be sentenced on November 17.