JACKSON, Miss. (WLOX) - A woman who served as a board member and officer of the Pearl River County Crimestoppers is accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from the organization.
Michelle McBride was indicted for embezzlement, arrested and issued a demand letter from the state for $82,416.37.
According to State Auditor Shad White, McBride used her position as secretary/treasurer to embezzle more than $52,000 from PRCCS from January 2014 to April 2019. Investigators believe McBride used the PRCCS debit card for personal rodeo expenses and transferred PRCCS funds to fraudulent non-profit accounts she owned.
Pearl River County Sheriff’s deputies assisted in the investigation.
“It is disheartening to see money intended to make our communities safer instead go to someone for their personal benefit, but I am grateful for the work of our investigators and the help of the district attorney’s office in putting a stop to it,” White said in a statement. “We will no longer tolerate this kind of theft in Mississippi.”
McBride’s bond was set at $20,000. If convicted, she faces up to 25 years in prison and $15,000 in fines.
No surety bond covers McBride’s employment with the Pearl River County Crimestoppers. Surety bonds are similar to insurance designed to protect taxpayers from corruption. McBride will remain liable for the full amount of the demand in addition to criminal proceedings.
Suspected fraud can be reported to the Mississippi State Auditor’s office online at www.osa.ms.gov or by calling 1-(800) 321-1275 during normal business hours.