JONES COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - A former president of the Jones County Board of Supervisors was convicted of embezzlement Monday.
Special agents from State Auditor Shad White’s office arrested Jerome Wyatt in October 2018 after he was indicted on two counts of embezzlement and two counts of fraud.
Wyatt, of Jones County’s Beat 5, pleaded guilty to embezzlement Monday and was sentenced to spend five years under the supervision of the department of corrections and complete 200 hours of community service. The case was prosecuted by District Attorney Anthony J. Buckley.
According to White, Wyatt used a Laurel Middle School mentoring program, “The Gentlemen’s Club,” to embezzle more than $2,000 from Jones County schools by submitting fraudulent reimbursement requests and also pocketing cash from the sale of a county-owned vehicle to a scrap yard.
“This plea should send a message to elected officials and others around the state that no one has the right to steal taxpayer money,” White said. “I want to thank investigators in the Auditor’s office for their work in proving this case and making the arrest, and I want to thank the prosecutors in District Attorney Buckley’s office and DA Buckley for their work in obtaining this felony plea.”
White’s office discovered the fraudulent reimbursement requests during a routine financial audit of Jones County.
According to White, the fraudulent payments and embezzlement totaled to $2,819.70. The State Auditor’s Office issued a demand of $6,076.46 to account for interest and investigative costs, which Wyatt has paid in full.
Wyatt was not reelected in 2019, and he will not be eligible to hold any public office in the future after the felony conviction.