Former Wiggins teller says shopping addiction drove her to steal

Veronica Morse (Photo source: Stone Co. Sheriff's Dept.)
Veronica Morse (Photo source: Stone Co. Sheriff's Dept.)

STONE COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A former Bank of Wiggins teller will spend eight years in prison after pleading guilty earlier this week to embezzlement. On Thursday, Veronica Morse, 38, was sentenced to 20 years, but 12 of those years were suspended. After her release, she'll be on probation for another five years.

As part of the sentence, Judge Bourgeois also ordered her to pay $201,000 in restitution.

The crime was first reported to the Stone County sheriff in late 2012 after employees at the Bank of Wiggins discovered Morse had been creating a large amount of fictitious cash transaction tickets during her employment as a teller at the Bank of Wiggins.

Prosecutors said Morse would input those false tickets into the bank computer system so the account would appear to be in balance, despite the fact that she was stealing thousands of dollars from the bank during several transactions.

"During a subsequent audit, the bank discovered the defendant had been conducting this activity for approximately 18 months and had stolen over $200,000 from the Bank" said Assistant District Attorney Matthew Burrell, who prosecuted the case.

Several members of the Bank of Wiggins staff were at Thursday's sentencing hearing. They heard Morse apologize for her actions. She also told the judge she spent the money providing for her family, taking trips and that she had a shopping addiction. Judge Bourgeois replied

"We all have to take care of our families, but it's not up to the Bank of Wiggins to pay for yours."

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