Lufkin woman pleads guilty to stealing $367k from vet clinics

Melissa McCleskey mug shot courtesy of Angelina County Jail.
Melissa McCleskey mug shot courtesy of Angelina County Jail.

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A Lufkin woman will face sentencing at a later date after pleading guilty Tuesday afternoon to stealing a combined $367,000 from two veterinary clinics with which she worked.

Melissa Suzanne McCleskey, 37, pleaded guilty to felony theft, a first-degree felony, according to prosecuting attorney Layne Thompson. Her sentencing will come following a pre-sentence investigation by the adult probation department.

According to a previous report, the investigation began in November 2010, when two different reports, showing two different figures, arrived at the CPA firm. The complainant eventually confronted McCleskey, who gave a written statement that she had taken about $50,000 in cash from both clinics, according to the affidavit.

A detective met with McCleskey, who, according to the affidavit, admitted to taking cash from the clinics since 2008, by overriding the computer and making a false daily report for the clinics and having the report turned in.

An audit showed that $246,016.71 was taken from East Texas Clinic and $121,764.05 was taken from Lone Star Clinic. The audit showed McCleskey's theft began on Jan. 3, 2007, at $25.45, and grew progressively over time, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit states McCleskey told police she stole up to $1,000 at a time and she just spent it on "living expenses."

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