Former JSU employee to spend 1 day in jail for embezzling $86K

Published 6:17 pm Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A former Jackson State University employee who was convicted of embezzling more than $86,000 from the school will serve one day in jail plus probation and restitution, officials said Monday.

Sandreia Jones, who worked as a purchasing agent for Jackson State, was sentenced Monday to five years in prison. However, Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Winston L. Kidd suspended four years and 364 days of the sentence, meaning she’ll serve just on day behind bars.

Jones was also sentenced to five years probation and was ordered to pay $31,441.88 in restitution. She also was ordered to attend Gambler’s Anonymous meetings, Bryant said. Jones must repay the money at the rate of at $485 a month.

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The embezzlement occurred after Jones was given a credit card by the university to be used for school business. Instead, Jones used the credit card for “personal gain” between October 2003 and August 2004, said State Auditor Phil Bryant, who was elected this year to the lieutenant governor’s post.

“It is bad enough when public officials embezzle taxpayer’s monies for mere selfish gain. But to steal money from education, from that which is so critical to the betterment of our state and our students, is beyond the bounds of conscience,” Bryant said in a news releases.

Messages left Monday for the judge and the assistant district attorney involved in the case were not immediately returned. Jackson State officials did not respond to messages, either.

“I wish to thank officials at Jackson State and the Hinds County District Attorney’s Office for their exceptional cooperation in the investigation and prosecution of this case,” Bryant said. “Hopefully, we will see the return of every stolen dollar to the university.”