Former Mississippi town clerk arrested for embezzling thousands from water department

Published 3:41 pm Tuesday, February 9, 2021

A former clerk for a town in Mississippi was arrested Tuesday on charges of embezzlement.

State Auditor Shad White, in a news release, said agents from his office arrested Amanda Lewis, who worked as town clerk of Roxie in Franklin County. Lewis is accused of embezzling more than $81,000 by allegedly stealing cash and money orders collected from residents as they paid water bills.

Lewis manipulated the town’s accounting software and hid her actions from December 2015 to August 2018, the auditor’s office said. When she quit in late 2018 to take a new job, Roxie officials found that almost $10,000 was missing from the town’s water fund. After a complaint was filed with White’s office, investigators found more than $80,000 missing from the fund, authorities said.

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After local officials approached her about the missing money, Lewis repaid the town $9,269. White said Lewis was issued a $109,425 demand letter when she was arrested. The amount includes interest, investigative expenses and credit for the money she has already repaid.

Lewis is being held in the Franklin County Jail. It was unknown if she has an attorney who can speak on her behalf.

If convicted, Lewis faces up to 20 years in prison and $5,000 in fines.

“This is another case where a significant amount of money was stolen from the water department of a municipality,” White said. “We’ve had several of these in the last two years. I’m grateful for the investigators in the Auditor’s office building this case, but I also want to challenge municipalities around the state to keep a careful eye on their water departments. It’s time to put a stop to this sort of theft, and working together, we can do that.”