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Hocking County Commissioner Indicted over $19,084 in Alleged Fraudulent Purchases While She Was Ag Society Secretary
For Immediate Release
COLUMBUS – The Hocking County Grand Jury indicted former Hocking County Agricultural Society Secretary Jessica Dicken on seven criminal counts, related to more than $19,000 in fraudulent credit card purchases.
Dicken, a current Hocking County commissioner, faces felony counts of telecommunications fraud, money laundering, theft, and election falsification and a misdemeanor count of soliciting or accepting improper compensation.
The Auditor of State’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) launched an investigation after receiving a complaint alleging fraudulent use of the Hocking County Agricultural Society’s credit card.
SIU determined Dicken had made $19,084 in fraudulent purchases using the agricultural society’s credit cards, including to help finance her 2022 campaign for Hocking County commissioner, to pay for a rental vehicle during a family vacation to Florida, and for various other purchases.
The indictment was filed in Hocking County Common Pleas Court Friday. An arraignment is scheduled for Oct. 12. SIU is serving as special prosecutor for the case.
Since 2019, the Special Investigations Unit has assisted in 117 convictions resulting in more than $8.2 million in restitution (see Map of SIU Convictions since January 2019). The team receives hundreds of tips of suspected fraud annually. Tips can be submitted anonymously online or via SIU’s fraud hotline at 866-FRAUD-OH (866-372-8364).
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio is responsible for auditing more than 5,900 state and local government agencies. Under the direction of Auditor Keith Faber, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies, and promotes transparency in government.