Ramona Woman Sentenced for Grand Theft

PIERRE, S.D.  – South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley has announced that Melba Jean Bickett of Ramona, S.D. has been sentenced to two years in the South Dakota Women’s Prison after pleading guilty to one count of Grand Theft. Both years were suspended on the condition that Bickett serve 60 days in the Lake County Jail and perform 40 hours of Community Service.

Between Jan.1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2013, while working as a teller for First American State Bank, Bickett took $153,000 from her father’s bank account and moved the money into her bank account or her son’s bank account. All the transactions were done without her father’s permission.

Bickett was sentenced Monday in Kingsbury County Court. She also was ordered to pay back the entire $153,000 to her father’s estate.

The case was investigated by the Lake County Sheriff’s office, the Kingsbury County Sheriff’s office, and the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation. The case was prosecuted by the South Dakota Attorney General’s Office and its Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation Unit.