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Stone County Circuit Clerk O’Neal sentenced to 10 years



circuit clerk guilty

District Attorney W. Crosby Parker announced today that former Stone County Circuit Clerk Jeffrey O’Neal pled guilty today at the Stone County Courthouse to two counts of Fraud for receiving payment based on fraudulent statements he presented to the Stone County Board of Supervisors.

O’Neal was the Stone County Circuit Court clerk from 2016- 2019. Special Circuit Court Judge Richard McKenzie accepted the plea and sentenced O’Neal to a total of 10 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, suspended 5 years, leaving 5 years to serve.

Upon his release from prison, O’Neal will be placed on 5 years of post-release supervision and ordered to pay a total of $94,351.96 in restitution to Stone County. The case was investigated by the Mississippi State Auditor’s Office.


During the investigation, the Auditor’s Office discovered that while O’Neal was in office, he failed to perform many of his statutorily required duties as Circuit Clerk. The investigation revealed that O’Neal failed to make payments to Stone County from fees he generated through the Circuit Clerk’s Office. The Auditor’s Office determined that O’Neal failed to pay Stone County over $25,000 in fees during his 4-year term.

It was also discovered that O’Neal failed to make restitution payments to victims of crime. The investigation showed many instances where defendants had made Court ordered restitution payments to the Circuit Clerk’s Office; however, O’Neal failed to send those payments to the victims of the crimes. The Auditor’s Office determined that over $36,000 had been received by the Clerk’s Office but not forwarded to the victims.

“The Auditor’s Office also discovered that O’Neal had submitted years of fraudulent documents to the Stone County Board of Supervisors for allowances that had not been approved by a Circuit Court Judge as required by law. As a result of these submissions, O’Neal received payments from the Board, and he deposited most of these payments into a Stone County bank account. O’Neal was also ordered to pay over $31,000 in restitution to Stone County. This amount stemmed from double payments O’Neal received for conducting elections, from certain checks he deposited into his personal account, and for other unaccounted-for monies,” stated Assistant District Attorney Matthew D. Burrell, who, along with Jason Josef, prosecuted the case on behalf of the State.

Recovered funds

After the criminal investigation, the Auditor’s Office was able to recover over $86,000 O’Neal had deposited and left in county bank accounts, to which only he had access. After he lost his bid for reelection, O’Neal failed to turn over the money from those accounts as required. The Court ordered that some of those monies be used to pay the county and the victims. The State Auditor’s Office has an outstanding civil demand against O’Neal, which is still pending.

“What the investigation brought to light is that this defendant wanted the title of Circuit Clerk, but not the responsibility that goes with the Office. One of the duties of the Circuit Clerk’s Office is to receive payment from individuals convicted of crime to pay back their victims. After the money was paid to his office, this defendant would pay himself first, while failing to pay victims of crime. This defendant was given numerous opportunities to comport to the law and he refused. We are thankful that the Court followed our recommendation as to the criminal demands in this case,” said DA Parker.

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