Former Mississippi Department of Health Employee Sentenced For Embezzlement

(Jackson, Miss.) – State Auditor Stacey Pickering announced today that David Kweller, a former employee in the Professional Licensure Division of the Mississippi Department of Health, pled to a bill of information for embezzling over $23,000 in Hinds County Circuit Court.

Kweller pled guilty to embezzlement and was sentenced to five years in custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. He will serve one year under house arrest and four years suspended.

“Mr. Kweller was a state employee who was stealing from the taxpayers, and we are pleased that this case has been resolved,” State Auditor Stacey 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.”

Sen. Will Longwitz added, “I am extremely pleased at this news from the State Auditor’s Office. Rep. Dennis DeBar and I worked very closely with the leadership to get this law passed, and I am glad Stacey and his team are using it to protect taxpayers.”

During the time period of May 28, 2010 through April 3, 2012, Kweller embezzled $23,650 of public funds from the Mississippi Department of Health.

The State Auditor’s Office served a demand to Kweller today totaling $42,089.65 for 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 which 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 on November 21, 2012.

State Auditor Stacey Pickering
9/24/13