August 2, 2018 10:40:08 AM
The Office of the State Auditor provided updates on three local embezzlement cases in an annual exceptions report on Wednesday -- including a former area airport manager and ex-employees with Mississippi State University.
Exceptions, according to the report, are violations of the law or accounting errors that result in a misappropriation or incorrect expenditure of public funds. The OSA issues formal demands for repayment when exceptions are discovered and investigated.
The most recent case involves Billy Scarbrough, a former manager of the Columbus-Lowndes Airport. The OSA arrested Scarbrough in May in connection to a 2014 investigation.
Scarbrough was accused of obtaining more than 2,000 gallons of fuel from the Columbus Public Works Department with a credit card provided by the city and county when he worked as the airport's manager under an independent contract. The Columbus-Lowndes Airport is jointly operated by the city of Columbus and Lowndes County.
Scarbrough was indicted for embezzlement on April 24 and the OSA issued a formal demand for $14,490.81 on May 21. No money was repaid for Fiscal Year 2018.
Another case involves former Mississippi State University employee Susan Holder. She was a former state 4-H leader and extension service professor.
Holder was arrested in September 2016 for embezzlement, and accused of embezzling $35,495.98 between September 2007 and October 2011. At the time, the OSA said Holder charged travel expenses on her personal credit card, which was paid by a private foundation. She then requested reimbursement from MSU for the same expenses.
The OSA issued a formal demand in the amount of $81,946.47 in October 2016, and her case was sent to the Office of the Attorney General in March 2017.
On April 12, Holder pleaded guilty to embezzlement and was sentenced to one year of house arrest and four years of post-release supervision. She was also ordered to pay a total $58,449.49 for court costs and restitution.
For Fiscal Year 2018, $50,000 of Holder's formal demand has been paid, leaving a balance of $31,946.47.
The report also includes an update on the 2003 case of Lisa Lindsey, a former MSU employee.
Lindsey was issued a formal demand of $59,428.71 in Jan. 2003. That case was transferred to the Office of the Attorney General in Feb. 2003 and she pleaded guilty to embezzlement in July 2003. Lindsey was sentenced to 10 years with five suspended on supervised probation. She was also ordered to pay restitution in the same amount as the OSA's formal demand.
For Fiscal Year 2018, Lindsey paid $5,875.22, leaving a balance of $9,695.03.
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