Former Berkeley County Deputy Clerk indicted on 41 counts, accused of stealing more than $250,000

PRESS RELEASE: From the W.Va. State Auditor’s Office,

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. – A grand jury in Berkeley County has handed down a 41-count indictment against a former Berkeley County deputy clerk. Melissa Joanna Beavers is accused of stealing more than $272,000 from Berkeley County.

West Virginia State Auditor JB McCuskey’s Public Integrity and Fraud Unit lead the investigation into Beavers, with the assistance of the Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, after being alerted of potential fraud by new Berkeley County Clerk Tony Petrucci.

The investigation found that from October 17th, 2019 to December 22, 2022, Beavers engaged in two elaborate schemes to steal money, totaling $127,080 and $145,391.35.

“Upon being alerted to possible wrongdoing in Berkeley County, our team got to work to find out if money had been misused. Unfortunately, what we uncovered is one of our largest frauds to date,” Auditor JB McCuskey said. “I am thankful for our investigators and the Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for the many hours they worked to uncover Beavers’ schemes, putting a stop to it, and now bringing justice to the taxpayers of Berkeley County. I hope this once again sends a strong message that our office will not tolerate the abuse of public funds, we are taking action.”

Beavers has been indicted on charges of embezzlement, falsifying accounts, forgery, uttering, forgery of a public record, and keeping or concealing an instrument for forging.

Beavers is set to be arraigned November 7th at 10:00am in Berkeley County Circuit Court. The State Auditor’s Public Integrity and Fraud Unit (PIF-U) was created to help local governments throughout West Virginia investigate potential financial fraud. With a director, who has prosecutorial powers, accountants specially trained in financial crimes and investigators, the unit provides much needed resources to local governments to ensure financial crimes are fully investigated.

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