Former Ridgeland clerk sentenced to prison
RIDGELAND -- A former Town of Ridgeland water and sewer clerk was convicted of embezzlement and sentenced to five years in prison late Wednesday afternoon.
At the conclusion of a two-day trial, jurors convicted 36-year-old Mandy Drew of one count of embezzlement for siphoning approximately $118,000 from the town's water/sewer fund between April 2009 and January 2011.
Drew would take payments made to the town and fraudulently post them so they would not appear on the current year's ledger or in the daily deposits made to the bank. She pocketed the money and credited the customer's account either after the daily payment log had been printed or in a prior year in order to make her scheme more difficult to detect.
Town officials began noticing discrepancies during their auditing process and uncovered the embezzlement. They assisted the State Law Enforcement Division with the investigation and the Fourteenth Circuit Solicitor's Office with the prosecution.
"Mandy Drew was trusted with the public's money and she violated that sacred trust," said assistant solicitor Francine Norz, who prosecuted the case. "The Town of Ridgeland caught the activity through an audit, assisted the investigation and fully pursued the prosecution. Fortunately, the town also had insurance, so taxpayers are not out of the money."
Judge Carmen Mullen handed down the five-year prison sentence to be followed by five years of probation. She also ordered Drew repay $118,036 in restitution.