CONTACT: Lisa H. Shoemaker (601) 576-2645 or (601) 613-8518
DATE: February 9, 2012
Newton School District Employee Indicted and Arrested for Forgery
(Jackson, Miss.) State Auditor Stacey Pickering announced the arrest of Billy Lamont Johnson, library assistant at the Newton Municipal School District, for uttering forgery. The State Auditor’s Office received a complaint after Johnson cashed a $700 check that was not originally made out to him.
After a thorough investigation, Johnson was indicted by the Newton County Grand Jury based on evidence that shows Johnson received a check made payable to a third party from the Band Boosters Club of the Newton Municipal School District. Johnson embezzled the proceeds of the check by uttering forgery at the Newton County Bank and converting the public funds to personal use.
“This is the second case just recently that has involved school district funds being embezzled and not being spent on the students,” said State Auditor Stacey Pickering. “Just last week, defendants in Rankin County pled guilty after embezzling funds from the School District by charging them for $80,000 worth of pine straw that was never delivered. Any individual who steals money from the tax payers will be prosecuted and held accountable for their actions, regardless of the amount. Extracurricular organizations, especially the arts, work hard to support the students and raise the needed funds for uniforms and other expenses. To have that money stolen by a volunteer is inexcusable."