February 27, 2010 10:58:00 PM
A former West Point police officer will spend more than two years in jail for embezzlement.
Boone Lairy, 38, was sentenced Thursday in Oxford by U.S. Chief District Judge Michael P. Mills to 27 months in prison and ordered to pay $27,850 in restitution for scamming more than $18,000 from Golden Triangle Crime Stoppers. He was convicted in July 2009.
Sources report Lairy, who ran Crime Stoppers for more than 10 years, likely embezzled closer to $50,000.
Former Columbus police officer Nathan Smith and Shawanda Holliday of Aberdeen were implicated along with Lairy. Holliday pleaded to one count of conspiracy and was sentenced to three years probation. The charges against Smith were dismissed.
Lairy will turn himself in to state authorities April 26 to begin his sentence. The State Bureau of Prisons will decided where he serves his bid. Lairy faced a potential incarceration of 15 years and a fine of $500,000 for the charges.
One of Lairy''s attorneys, Roy Perkins of Starkville said no decisions have been made regarding an appeal. Lairy''s legal team has 10 days from the day the sentencing is filed by the court to request an appeal. The sentencing had not been filed as of Friday.
Jim Smith, chief of the criminal division for the U.S. Attorney''s Office, Mississippi Northern District, said the investigation into Lairy involved the FBI, Columbus Police Department, Lowndes County Sheriff''s Office and West Point Police Department.
Lairy was accused of tampering with Crime Stoppers records by assigning rewards for cases in which an arrest had already been made. His cohorts would then claim the rewards.
Former Columbus police Chief and current Golden Triangle Crime Stoppers Board President Billy Pickens says changes have been made to the reward system to prevent future embezzlement.
"We have put more checks and balances into the system where the coordinator actually checks with the agency and the detective in charge of the specific case to make sure there was information obtained by that detective. And that information will be relayed to the board before they finalize and approve the payment of a reward," said Pickens.
In March 1999, former Columbus Police Chief Donald Freshour pleaded guilty to using Crime Stoppers to steal money, which Aimee Morgan Nabors testified was used to pay her for sexual favors.
After Freshour''s plea, the Golden Triangle Crime Stoppers'' headquarters was moved from Columbus to West Point.
DJ commented at 3/1/2010 5:01:00 PM:
I guess the headquarters was moved before we lost chief Bingham to the B.S. politics. Who will watch over it now?
maggiedowdle commented at 11/21/2010 5:28:00 PM:
It's too bad that Mr. Nathan Smith still hasn't gotten what he deserves. But it's all a matter of time. And to Mr. Smith if you ever happen to read this...thank you for making my dad the AMAZING father and man he is today!!! You should know who I am even though I was only 3 around that time...I can still recall many memories from these hard times in my family's life. You hurt my family more than you can ever imagine and I hope that karma comes and bites you right where it hurts.
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