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Auditor: 2 face embezzlement charge in separate cases

October 5, 2021 GMT

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A former sheriff in Mississippi and a former worker at a county hospital each has been indicted on charges of embezzlement.

State Auditor Shad White said former Yalobusha County Sheriff William “Lance” Humphreys was formally charged after he allegedly stole nearly $5,000 from the county’s “Inmate Canteen Account,” which is used to provide educational and recreational resources to county inmates, White’s office said in a news release Monday.

Humphreys is accused of transferring money from the canteen account into his personal bank account in 2018.

“This is, unfortunately, another case where funds intended to benefit prisoners were stolen,” White said. “It’s the second arrest we’ve made like this in the last month. We will continue to enforce the law to protect taxpayers and other victims.”

Humphreys lost re-election in 2019.

A grand jury also indicted Katherine Brown, who worked at Yalobusha General Hospital. She allegedly embezzled more than $70,000 from the facility by issuing and cashing checks addressed to multiple hospital employees. The employees filed a complaint with the auditor’s office after accounting discrepancies were uncovered, White’s office said.

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“We are dedicated to putting a stop to schemes like this and making sure public money reaches those who should benefit—in this case, patients and hospital employees,” White said.

White said his office sent a $10,867 demand letter to Humphreys and a $100,966 demand letter to Brown. Both amounts include interest and investigative expenses.

Humphreys surrendered at the Yalobusha County Sheriff’s office, and Brown was arrested at her home in Oxford. White’s office said. It was unknown if either of them has an attorney who could speak on their behalf.

If convicted, Humphreys faces up to 20 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Brown, if found guilty, faces up to 20 years in prison and $25,000 in fines.