Auditor’s office makes two arrests in separate Yalobusha County cases – picayune item
JACKSON, miss – Today State Auditor Shad White announced that special agents in his office have arrested former Yalobusha County Sheriff William “Lance” Humphreys and former Yalobusha General Hospital employee Katherine Rotenberry Brown, after the two were charged with separate crimes. The special agents delivered a letter of formal notice for $ 10,867.30 to Humphreys and a letter of formal notice of $ 100,966.03 to Brown. Both amounts include interest and survey costs.
Humphreys was charged with embezzlement after allegedly stealing nearly $ 5,000 from the county’s “inmate canteen account” – funds meant to provide educational and recreational resources to county inmates. The former sheriff is accused of transferring money from the canteen account directly to his own personal bank account. The alleged transfers were made in 2018 and reported by an employee of the Yalobusha Sheriff’s Office who was compiling documents to be audited.
âThis is, unfortunately, another case where funds intended for prisoners were stolen,â Auditor White said. âThis is the second arrest we have made in this way in the past month. We will continue to apply the law to protect taxpayers and other victims.
A grand jury also indicted Katherine Brown for embezzlement. She allegedly embezzled over $ 70,000 from Yalobusha General Hospital by issuing and cashing checks addressed to several hospital employees. Hospital employees filed a complaint with the auditor’s office after accounting discrepancies were identified.
âThanks to the officers who discovered this fraud at a rural hospital,â White said. “We are committed to ending such programs and ensuring that public money reaches those who should benefit, in this case, patients and hospital workers.”
Humphreys surrendered to special constables at the Yalobusha County Sheriff’s Office, and Brown was arrested at her Oxford home and transported to the Yalobusha County Detention Center. The deposit for the two people will be fixed by the court.
Humphreys faces up to 20 years in prison or a $ 5,000 fine, and Brown faces up to 20 years in prison and a $ 25,000 fine. Everyone arrested by the Mississippi Office of the Auditor General is presumed innocent until proven guilty by a court. Both cases will be prosecuted by District Attorney John Champion’s office.
A $ 100,000 bond covers the time Humphreys was sheriff of Yalobusha County. No bond covers Brown’s employment at Yalobusha General Hospital. Bonds are akin to insurance designed to protect taxpayers in the event of misuse of public funds. Humphreys and Brown will remain responsible for the total amount of their respective claims in addition to the individual criminal charges.
Suspicions of fraud can be reported to the auditor’s office online at any time by clicking on the red “Report Fraud” button at www.osa.ms.gov or by phone during regular business hours by dialing 1- (800) -321-1275.