WAYNE COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - A grand jury indicted a former Wayne County Justice Court clerk for embezzlement Monday after she was accused of stealing nearly $40,000 from October 2017 to September 2018.
State Auditor Shad White announced the arrest of Christy James, who was delivered a demand letter worth $51,531.80, which included investigative costs and accrued interest.
James is accused of embezzling cash and money orders meant to pay fines and voiding the transactions in the court’s accounting software to conceal her crime, according to White.
James surrendered to special agents and was booked in the Wayne County Jail. Her bond was set at $5,000.
“I’ve found that theft of this size is far too common in our small communities. It’s one of the reasons why demands from the auditor’s office have increased this past year,” White said. “The auditor’s office will continue to send the message that embezzlement like this will not be tolerated. People who are perpetrating similar schemes around the state should consider themselves on notice.”
James faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted or $5,000 in fines. She would also be liable for the full amount in the demand letter and criminal proceedings.
A $50,000 surety bond covered James’ employment at the Wayne County Justice Court, which is designed to protect taxpayers from embezzlement and corruption, according to White.