Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Regional News: Two Arrested for Separate Embezzlement Schemes in Marshall County

State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office served two individuals Tuesday in Marshall County with demand letters and indictments after local grand jury proceedings.

Dana Walker, a former high school secretary, and Amanda McDonald, a former library director, are both accused of embezzlement in separate cases. Walker was served with a $53,594 demand letter, and McDonald was served with an $8,174 demand letter. Interest and recovery costs are included in the demand amounts.

Walker is accused of embezzling from H.W. Byers High School activities funds by depositing them into her own bank account. These funds—nearly $40,000—were meant to pay for things like student parking decals, athletic uniforms, and school-sponsored fundraisers. Walker’s alleged scheme lasted from August 2020 to February 2022 when it was reported to the State Auditor’s office by school officials.

According to a court document, McDonald allegedly embezzled over $5,000 from the Marshall County Library which was then converted to her own personal use.

“We will continue to work with prosecutors to ensure taxpayer money is protected,” said State Auditor Shad White.

Dana Walker was arrested in February 2022 by the Marshall County School District Police for her alleged embezzlement scheme. Amanda McDonald surrendered herself to Special Agents at the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office yesterday.

If convicted Walker faces 20 years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines. McDonald faces 10 years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines. All persons arrested by the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. District Attorney Ben Creekmore’s office will prosecute both cases.

Walker’s employment in Marshall County School District is covered by a $50,000 insurance policy. No surety bond covers the employment of Amanda McDonald. Surety bonds are similar to insurance and designed to protect taxpayers in the event that public money is misspent. Both women will remain liable for the full amounts of their demands in addition to individual charges.

Suspected fraud can be reported to the Auditor’s office online at any time by clicking the red button at www.osa.ms.gov or via telephone during normal business hours at 1-(800)-321-1275.


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