Shumate pleads guilty to embezzlement, fraud - - Jackson, MS

Shumate pleads guilty to embezzlement, fraud

Source: Office of the State Auditor Source: Office of the State Auditor
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

This past Friday, former Department of Marine Resources Director of Coastal Management Programs, Sheila Shumate, pled guilty to one count of embezzlement and one count of fraud by a public official.

She was sentenced to 12 years in custody with 10 years suspended and two to serve.

She was also sentenced to four years of probation.

Shumate has been ordered to pay $14,091.11 in restitution, which must be paid by Friday. Last year, the Office of the State Auditor issued a demand for $127,608.57 against Shumate and has begun the process of recovery for that money.

"I am pleased with the sentencing of Ms. Shumate and am glad that the investigation and this chapter into the Department of Marine Resources in nearing conclusion," State Auditor Stacey Pickering said.

"This has been a long process, but our Investigators have worked tirelessly and have been persistent in helping to bring justice for the taxpayers of the Gulf Coast, and of Mississippi. Because of our investigation, numerous individuals will serve jail time for embezzlement or fraud, and the money they stole will be returned to the taxpayers."

"I thank District Attorney Joel Smith and his Office for their hard work in prosecuting these cases."

To date, Kerwin Cuevas, former Director of the Artificial Reef Program, is the only individual charged criminally whose charges have not yet been adjudicated.

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