Former financial officer who pleaded guilty to embezzling from Mississippi taxpayers found dead in prison

Published 10:57 am Tuesday, June 20, 2023

A former financial officer who pleaded guilty to stealing thousands from the city of Columbus has died in prison.


WLBT in Jackson reports that former City of Columbus Chief Financial Officer Milton Rawle Jr. died Saturday, June 10, according to the Rankin County Coroner’s Office.

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Rawle was being held at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Rankin County.

Officials say they are investigating the death. By state law, anyone in law enforcement custody that dies must have an autopsy.

In February 2021, Rawle pleaded guilty to embezzlement and was sentenced to 20 years in prison and ordered to repay the city more than $108,000.

The state auditor’s office accused Rawle of embezzling nearly $290,000 by making electronic money transfers to personal bank accounts from December 2016 to December 2018. To hide the unauthorized transactions, Rawle purportedly used official-sounding labels like “payroll” and “reimbursement.”

Investigators also believe he used clipart to alter city bank statements to conceal the transfers.

The case was investigated after accounting discrepancies were found and reported by a private CPA hired by the City of Columbus to complete a routine, annual audit.