Former Bookkeeper for Oloh Fire Protection District Arrested for Embezzlement

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JACKSON, Miss. – Today State
Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested
former Secretary/Treasurer of the Oloh Fire Protection District Jessica Delancey
after she was indicted for embezzlement by a grand jury assembled by District
Attorney Hal Kittrell. At the time of arrest, Delancey was issued a $100,294.59
demand letter which includes interest and investigative costs.

Delancey
began work with the Oloh Fire Protection District in Lamar County in 2012 under
contract to receive a monthly payment of $100 and $50 per diem each time the
fire protection board met. After account discrepancies were reported by the
Lamar County Board of Supervisors, Auditor’s office investigators determined
Delancey wrote checks to herself for $68,719.59 more than she was owed.

Jessica
Delancey was able to embezzle this money from February 2013 to July 2018
because she was allowed unsupervised access to the fire protection district’s
accounts.

“This
is, once again, an example of someone working in a small government office
abusing their power over the checkbook for significant personal gain,” said
Auditor White. “When funds intended for law enforcement or a fire department
are stolen, it jeopardizes the safety of the community. We will continue to
identify people who put their communities at risk in this way and hold them
accountable.”

Delancey
was covered by a $50,000 surety bond during her time at the Oloh Fire Protection
District. This bond acts as a form of insurance to help recover stolen public
funds on behalf of Mississippi taxpayers.

Jessica
Delancey was released from Lamar County jail after posting bail of $10,000 on
Friday. If convicted for embezzlement, Delancey faces up to 20 years in prison
and a $25,000 fine. All persons arrested by the Mississippi Office of the State
Auditor are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

The
arrest of Delancey was the second arrest by the Auditor’s office involving the
Oloh Fire Protection District in the last six months. In October, Delancey’s
predecessor, Michelle Barefoot, was arrested and issued a $40,693.84
embezzlement demand.

Public
corruption can be reported to the Office of the State Auditor online any time
by clicking the red “Report Fraud” button at www.osa.ms.gov or via telephone
during normal business hours at 1-(800)-321-1275.

Click here for Mississippi State Auditor's Website