LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - A former treasurer for the Oloh Volunteer Fire Department has been charged with embezzlement. According to the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor, Michelle Barefoot was arrested by special agents earlier this week.
“The sad truth is that, when you look at fraud statistics around the country, small organizations have more fraud cases and lose more money per fraud than large organizations. Local government has more fraud than state government, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners,” said State Auditor Shad White in a press release. “This case is a classic example of how people can take advantage of small, local entities like a volunteer fire department. We’re going to remain vigilant in identifying and bringing cases like this one to a conclusion.”
Beginning in Nov. 2010 through Feb. 2012, Barefoot made payments to her personal credit card via the bank account of the Lamar County Volunteer Fire Department, according to White. She was dismissed from the Oloh Volunteer Fire Department in March 2012 for failure to provide requested financial documents.
A grand jury indicted her on the charge, says district attorney Hal Kittrell. Reports show that on Aug. 30, 2017, Barefoot was served a demand in the amount of $40,693.84. The quota included principal loss of the department, interest and investigative costs. Now that Barefoot’s insurance company has paid the principal amount of the demand, she owes $17,699.95 in interest and investigative costs.