QUITMAN COUNTY, Miss. — A former Mississippi school district employee and pastor was arrested after she allegedly stole thousands of dollars from the Quitman County School District.
Linder Howze-Campbell was previously employed by the school district to oversee the gifted student program, the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor said in a released statement. While in the position she allegedly found out that a business could get paid more to identify children who qualified for the program than she could.
That’s when she reportedly set it up so her own company – L&A Educational Services – would appear to be performing the work instead of her.
According to state authorities, Howze-Campbell wasn’t honest when filling out that paperwork. Instead of putting down the name of the real executive director of her company, she reportedly put down a friend’s name.
When all was said and done, authorities said the Quitman County School District was paying Howze-Campbell her salary, plus depositing additional funds into her company’s bank account. She then obtained access to her company’s bank accounts and made personal checks that benefited herself, a second business and the church where she pastored.
Between 2015 and 2017, the school district reportedly deposited upwards of $50,000 into the company’s account.
The state demanded she pay more than $72,000 back, which includes interest and the cost of the investigation.
If convicted, she faces five years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.