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Daniel V. Leccese Sr.

Alapaha, GA: (Aug-14-07) A lawsuit was brought against Daniel V. Leccese Sr., a court clerk in the Alapaha Judicial Circuit, alleging that he engaged in felony mail fraud. Leccese Sr. entered a guilty plea on one count of felony mail fraud in the US District Court for the Middle District of Georgia. Following the admission, Leccese resigned as clerk of the Clinch County superior and state courts. Sources state that Leccese was one of several Clinch County employees who had been paid, at the direction of Alapaha Chief Judge Brooks E. Blitch III, more than $60,000 without the county commission's knowledge. Leccese was also involved in setting up a secret bank account used to hold money collected by the imposition of fees on criminal defendants throughout the Alapaha Judicial Circuit. Money from the secret bank account was used to pay county employees and to purchase a computer. The transactions took place at the behest of Blitch and without knowledge of the county commission. The Clinch County Commission became aware of the secret bank account in January 2007.

Leccese pleaded guilty and quit his job a month after FBI agents raided the chambers of the Alapaha Judicial Circuit's chief judge in South Georgia. As part of a settlement, he agreed to pay a fine of up to $250,000. Leccese was released on his own recognizance and faces up to two years in prison. [DAILY REPORT: MAIL FRAUD]

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Published on Aug-15-07


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