Mississippi auditor: Man stole from poverty housing program


This Tunica County Sheriff’s Office booking photograph is of Mardis Lanell Jones, taken Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, in Tunica, Miss. Jones was charged with embezzling more than three-quarters of a million dollars from a program designed to help low-income residents repair their homes in a county with a long history of entrenched poverty, said the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor. (Tunica County Sheriff’s Office via the Mississippi State Auditor’s Office, via AP)

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi auditor says a man is charged with stealing money from a program designed to help poor people repair their homes.

Mardis Lanell Jones ran the nonprofit organization Tunica County Housing Inc. Auditor Shad White said Thursday that Jones was arrested Wednesday after being indicted in an embezzlement case.

Jones was released on bond. It wasn’t immediately clear whether Jones has an attorney. White says Jones is accused of embezzling about $765,000 between 2014 and 2020.

The auditor is demanding Jones repay that amount, plus investigative expenses and other costs that bring the total demand to more than $1 million.

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