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Final person indicted in Wake County embezzlement surrenders to authorities

Posted December 14, 2017 9:43 a.m. EST
Updated July 13, 2018 2:06 p.m. EDT

— The fourth and final person indicted for embezzling money from the Wake County register of deeds office turned herself in to authorities on Thursday morning.

Veronica Scisco Gearon, 52, of 2020 Loft Lane in Raleigh, the former supervisor of the recording section in the deeds office, was indicted Tuesday on six counts of embezzlement by a public officer. She took nearly $81,000 between Jan. 26, 2011, and Oct. 21, 2016, according to court documents.

Veronica Gearon

Search warrants show that Gearon deposited $51,000 in her bank accounts between April 2013 and last January. She told investigators that the money came from her mother, a friend and her son, but authorities noted that her mother died last year and her son's paychecks totaled about $8,400 over a 13-month period. Gearon refused to name the friend, and she stopped talking to investigators after that, according to a search warrant.

Gearon was released after posting a $50,000 bond.

Longtime Register of Deeds Laura Riddick and two other office employees, Murray Machree Parker and Troy Ellis, also were indicted in the case.

The four are accused of embezzling more than $1 million total from the deeds office. John Stephenson, Wake County's internal auditor, said an average of $1,100 to $1,900 a day was taken from the office's cash receipts for vital records since at least 2008.

Riddick, 51, of Raleigh, was indicted on six counts of embezzlement by a public officer in excess of $100,000. According to court papers, she took more than $900,000 between Aug. 4, 2010, and Feb. 20, 2017. She was released Wednesday after posting a $700,000 secured bond.

Search warrants in the case that were unsealed Wednesday show that Riddick deposited $875,365 in cash in her bank account between August 2010 and last June.

Murray Parker, Troy Ellis, Wake deeds embezzlement case

Parker, 72, of Holly Springs, was indicted on three counts of embezzlement by a public officer, and court papers allege he stole about $74,000 between Jan. 11, 2010, and March 31, 2013. The former deputy director of the deeds office, he was released after posting a $50,000 bond.

Search warrants show that he deposited $85,000 in cash into his bank accounts from June 2008 through January 2013 – he retired two months later. He told investigators that that money came from the sale of a treadmill and some furniture.

Ellis, 39, of Wendell, a technician at the deeds office, was fired in April after he confessed to taking $50,000 within the past year. He has been cooperating with authorities in the investigation. Ellis was indicted on one count of embezzlement by a public officer in connection with the missing $50,000, which court documents allege was stolen between Dec. 5, 2015, and Feb. 20, 2017. He posted a $5,000 bond.