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Former Michigan EGLE employee charged with embezzlement

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A former employee of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy is facing embezzlement charges.

The Attorney General’s office filed charges against Joseph Pettit. He worked in EGLE’s Oil, Gas, and Minerals Division. One of his jobs was to make sure when an oil or gas well changed hands, the original owner got back the bond money that was required by the state.

Kelly Rossman-McKinney is a spokesperson for the Attorney General. She says Pettit is being charged with embezzling that money for himself.

“He actually created fake vendors and diverted the funds to bank accounts for those fake vendors to the tune of more than eight hundred and fifty thousand dollars.”

The Attorney General’s office suspects it could have been a lot more, but the statute of limitations prevents further charges.

Pettit's attorney did not return calls asking for comment.