JASPER COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - A Jasper County woman was arrested for embezzlement and fraud after being accused of stealing more than $32,000 from the Tri-County Water Association.
The Mississippi State Auditor’s Office started an investigation after suspicious spending by Joann Williams, a former office manager for the water association, was discovered by the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office.
According to State Auditor Shad White, Williams illegally added her family members to a cellphone plan belonging to the water association and used a Tri-County gas card for personal use. Investigators believe she also used the water association’s payment software to embezzle cash payments.
The embezzlement and fraud scheme ranged from September 2011 to February 2019.
White said Williams was indicted by a grand jury for embezzlement and fraud, and surrendered to investigators in Jasper County on Thursday.
"This case is yet another example of our work with our other partners in law enforcement around the state to put a stop to an embezzlement scheme," said White. "For others around the state, whether you're in law enforcement or not, if you see signs of fraud or embezzlement, call on the Auditor's office to help root this out."
Williams faces up to 33 years in prison and $31,000 in fines if convicted. The case will be prosecuted by the office of District Attorney Matt Sullivan.
If you or someone you know suspects fraud activity, report it to the State Auditor’s Office online at http://www.osa.ms.gov or by calling 1-(800)-321-1275.