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Former State Official Named in Indictments


By Associated Press

Oklahoma City, OK – OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A former auditor for the Commissioners of the Land Office has been indicted on 174 counts of embezzlement.

Roger Melson appeared Thursday in Oklahoma County District Court. Prosecutors allege he stole more than $1.16 million in royalty payments to the office over the last five years.

Assistant Attorney General Joel-lyn McCormick says authorities have located $23,000 of the missing money in a private bank account. She says they are searching for more and believe Melson had a gambling problem.

District Judge Patricia Parrish set Melson's bond at $174,000 -- $1,000 for each felony count.

Melson's defense attorney Billy Bock says his client is "very sorry for putting himself and his family in this position."

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. Copyright 2009,