Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Michelle McBride, a former board member and officer of the Pearl River County Crimestoppers (PRCCS), after she was indicted for embezzlement. An $82,416.37 demand letter was issued to McBride when she was arrested.
McBride allegedly used her position as Secretary/Treasurer to embezzle over $52,000 from PRCCS from January 2014 to April 2019. Investigators believe McBride used the PRCCS debit card for personal rodeo expenses and transferred PRCCS funds to fraudulent non-profit accounts she owned. Pearl River County Sheriff’s deputies assisted in the investigation.
McBride surrendered to Special Agents at the Pearl River County Sheriff’s office. Her bond was set at $20,000 by the court.
If convicted, McBride faces up to 25 years in prison and $15,000 in fines. All persons arrested by the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The case will be prosecuted by the office of District Attorney Hal Kittrell.
“It is disheartening to see money intended to make our communities safer instead go to someone for their personal benefit, but I am grateful for the work of our investigators and the help of the district attorney’s office in putting a stop to it. We will no longer tolerate this kind of theft in Mississippi.”
No surety bond covers McBride’s employment with the Pearl River County Crimestoppers. Surety bonds are similar to insurance designed to protect taxpayers from corruption. McBride will remain liable for the full amount of the demand in addition to criminal proceedings.
Suspected fraud can be reported to the Auditor’s office online any time by clicking the red button at www.osa.ms.gov or via telephone during normal business hours at 1-(800)-321-1275.