DOJ investigation finds 8 people in Fresno County stole from the dead, one used money to pay for sex

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For at least five years investigators say trusted people stole thousands of dollars from the dead. (KFSN)

For at least five years investigators say trusted people stole thousands of dollars from the dead and investigators are going after one man the hardest-- former county employee Noe Jimenez.

The former Public Administrator employee took care of those who died in Fresno County. People who died without a will or close-by relatives counted on the Public Administrators Office to take care of the dead and their items left behind.

After a tip, investigators searched his house and found stolen diamonds and precious stones. In his interview with detectives he said he did it all to fund a habit-- to hire prostitutes for sex.

Investigators searched through bank records and found Jimenez more than tripled his salary in 2012 with cash and check deposits. His salary, combined with his wife's, was around $65,000 but his bank account was padded with more than $200,000.

Investigators found Jimenez sold stolen items online through heritage auctions. Receipts show he sold gold necklaces, diamond jewelry, watches, and old coins-- netting nearly $40,000.

That doesn't include the numerous cars and cash investigators say Jimenez stole from numerous people.

Susan Nesbitt, Marty McClue, and Ree Bruce, also former county employees, are accused of using their position of power and working with Jimenez to steal from the dead.

Back in 2015 the man who was once in charge of these people spoke to Action News.

"When they go out to an estate to take inventory, they never take it by themselves. They always have somebody with them, so there's a check. But what good does it do when they're both corrupt," said Dr. David Hadden, Former Fresno County Coroner.

In the arrest warrant, text messages between Jimenez and Nesbitt suggested they worked together.

Nesbitt tells Jimenez "we found a little more in living room"

Jimenez respond "Cool. Did we score?"

The remaining four co-conspirators, Terrance Ward, Kiersten Paxton, Desiree Robledo, and William Stoutingburg Junior, are all accused of knowingly receiving stolen money, cars, and checks.

Every single person is facing felony charges.

The District Attorney's Office is now in charge of the Public Administrators Office. They could not tell us details but say they have put safeguards in place to prevent any further theft and embezzlement from happening in the future.

Related Topics:
newsdepartment of justicefresno countytheftprostitution
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