Merced Co. employee accused of scamming county of thousands
MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- A former court investigator is now on the other side of the law.
The suspect is accused of billing Merced County Superior Court and then getting paid thousands of dollars, for work she did not do.
The 40-year-old suspect is now facing 14 charges. Because the suspect is so well known in the Merced legal community, the district attorney said he had no choice but to ask a neighboring county to step in.
Michelle Pomicpic went to law school and according to the Merced County District Attorney; she had dreams of becoming a lawyer. The Merced County DA said Pomicpic was hoping to one day work for him. However, that is not the only reason why Larry Morse felt he had to step away from the prosecution of her case.
"Some of the allegations in this case, may have occurred, the conduct underlying these charges, may have occurred while she was working in the District Attorney's Office," Larry Morse, District Attorney said.
According to documents obtained by the Merced Sun Star, sheriff's investigators responded after court administrators found discrepancies in Michelle Pomicpic's billing.
Pomicpic worked as a Contract Court Investigator doing home visits on probate and conservatorship cases. According to the investigator there were 33 instances on 12 invoices where she charged the court for visits to dead people.
Pomicpic told the investigators that it was a contract issue. Her attorney tells Action News all of her invoices were approved by her then manager, and that courthouse budget cuts may have something to do with the invoice discrepancies.
The Mariposa County District Attorney is now taking the case as Pomicpic has too many connections to too many people in Merced County.
"We are a small legal community, we know each other, there's a premium on folks getting along, there's a harmonious relations among all the folks that work in the court system here we take pride in that," Morse said.
Morse suspects multiple judges will recuse themselves as many of them know the suspect. As for who foots the bill, well this is not the first time the two counties have stepped in to help one another.
"Mariposa would handle it and probably submit a bill to Merced County at the conclusion. There's certain reciprocity here," Morse said.
The suspect has already pled not guilty; her attorney said there is a lot more to the case details which will likely come out in court. The case will be back in court September.
merced, merced county, local, stephanie stone
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