Crime

Ex-Stone County official's embezzlement trial delayed

DREW TARTER/SUN HERALD 
 Jay Paul Gumm is former executive director of the Stone County Economic Development Partnership and a former senator from Oklahoma.
DREW TARTER/SUN HERALD Jay Paul Gumm is former executive director of the Stone County Economic Development Partnership and a former senator from Oklahoma.

WIGGINS -- The embezzlement trial for Jay Paul Gumm, former executive director of the Stone County Economic Development Partnership, has been delayed.

Gumm was to bo on trial this week in Stone County Circuit Court.

The trial was postponed because his attorney was not available this week, prosecutors said Tuesday. It wasn't clear if a new trial date has been set.

Gumm served two terms in the Oklahoma Senate from 2002-2010 before moving to Mississippi for his position with the Stone County Economic Development Partnership.

He was fired from the EDF after his arrest on an embezzlement charge Aug. 16, 2013. A Stone County grand jury indicted him in January 2014.

Gumm is accused of embezzling more than $24,000 in county money.

State Auditor Stacey Pickering has said the allegations, in part, accuse Gumm of depositing $11,750 into his personal account; fraudulently withholding a $2,000 person check that was shown as deposited; depositing a $500 fraudulent check into his personal account from a Christmas party; and depositing $8,060 from six checks with forged signatures. Gumm was arrested months after two Wiggins women were accused of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars in related investigations.

Tina Gillespie, former executive secretary of the EDP, and Veronica Morse, former lead teller at the Bank of Wiggins, have both been sentenced to prison and are required to provide truthful testimony at Gumm's trial.

Gillespie and Morse each received a 20-year prison term, with 12 suspended and eight years to serve.

Gillespie admitted embezzling about $414,795 by writing checks to herself on EDP accounts and using Gumm's signature stamp, then forging the second signature required. She was sentenced last September.

Morse admitted taking $201,000 by creating fake cash transaction tickets and entering them in the bank's computer to hide discrepancies. Morse was sentenced in September 2013.

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