Two admit to stealing water customer fines

Published 1:53 pm Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Two former employees of a Mississippi Gulf Coast city are pleading guilty to stealing water fines.

State Auditor Shad White says Lakeshia Benton and Kenya Bowens each pleaded Friday to one count of embezzlement.

White says Bowens stole $11,840, while Benton stole $1,913. Each was indicted in January.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

He says the two would collect cash from people paying water bill fines in 2015 and 2016, void receipts and split money. White says a supervisor noticed the voided transactions.

The auditor’s office demanded the two and insurers pay more than $30,000. White says that money, including losses, interest and investigation costs, has been received and sent to Moss Point.

Jackson County Circuit Judge Dale Harkey is scheduled to sentence the women June 11.

Each faces up to 20 years in prison.