FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. -
We're learning new details tonight about some former Fresno County employees, who allegedly stole from dead people.
One former employee admitted to using the alleged stolen money to pay for prostitutes.
These former county employees were a part of the Public Administrator's Office. They're the ones in charge of managing the estates and making final arrangements for people who die without a will, or who die without any family members who can act on the decedent's behalf. The State Department of Justice said in court documents that the eight accused defendants violated the public's trust.
Four of the eight defendants are accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from the estates of dead people since 2012.
On Wednesday, a total of eight people were charged in connection with the crimes by the Department of justice, including 49-year old Noe Jimenez. In court documents, Jimenez admitted to the DOJ that he stole from multiple estates, pawned the property, and used the money to pay prostitutes for sex.
Jimenez and three other defendants allegedly stole cash, gold coins, cars, jewelry, and diamonds.
Legal analyst Charles Magill said, "It's one of those things where there was an enormous opportunity with very little oversight."
The Public Administrator's Office had been under the control of the County Coroner's Office. Now, the District Attorney's Office will oversee them.
"I would suspect if it's part of the D.A.'s office, then she can have a little more higher investigation as into their background and also a little more oversight," said Magill.
Court documents also show texts messages between Jimenez and alleged co-conspirator Susan Nesbitt, talking about some of the lucrative property in these estates. Nesbitt was also an administrator.
Nesbitt texted Jimenez quote, "We found a little more in living room" to which Jimenez replies "Cool", and "Did we score".
The defendants face charges of embezzlement, conspiracy and grand theft, among other charges.
A majority of the defendants have bailed out on Thursday, including Jimenez. The District Attorney's office told us they now have strict new controls in place.