Former Treasurer of Lamar County Volunteer Fire Department Arrested for Embezzlement

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OLOH, Miss. – Special Agents from the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor arrested former treasurer of the Oloh Volunteer Fire Department Michelle Barefoot this week. District Attorney for the Mississippi 15th District, Hal Kittrell, assembled a grand jury that recently returned an indictment for embezzlement against her.

On August 30, 2017, Barefoot was served a demand for $40,693.84, which includes principal loss of the department, interest, and investigative costs. After her insurance company paid the principal amount of the demand, Barefoot owes the interest and investigative costs totaling $17,699.95.

Between November 2010 and February 2012, Barefoot made payments to her personal credit card using the bank account of the Lamar County volunteer fire department. She was dismissed from her position in March 2012 because she failed to provide requested financial records.

“The sad truth is that, when you look at fraud statistics around the country, small organizations have more fraud cases and lose more money per fraud than large organizations. Local government has more fraud than state government, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners,” said State Auditor Shad White. “This case is a classic example of how people can take advantage of small, local entities like a volunteer fire department. We’re going to remain vigilant in identifying and bringing cases like this one to a conclusion.”

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