Former Quitman Co. School District employee arrested for fraud

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – State Auditor Shad White said special agents from his office arrested a former Quitman County School District employee after she was indicted for fraud by a grand jury.

A demand letter worth $72,031.44 was delivered to Linder Howze-Campbell at the time of her arrest. She allegedly submitted fake documents to get around laws that were designed to save money for taxpayers.

According to White, Howze-Campbell oversaw the gifted student program for the Quitman County School District. She allegedly know a business could be paid more money to identify gifted students in the district than the salary she could be paid for the same work.

Howze-Campbell is accused of fraudulently operating her own business, L & A Educational Services, under the name of her friend, which caused the school district to overpay for gifted student identification services. The school district paid nearly $50,000 to Howze-Campbell’s business from 2015-2017 in addition to her salary.

White said a routine audit led investigators to believe that Howze-Campbell had submitted forged business contracts to the school district. Investigators later discovered the friend she listed as executive director of L & A Educational Services was never an employee of the company. They also identified over 50 fraudulent checks Howze-Campbell wrote from an L & A Educational Services bank account.

“After Howze-Campbell’s company submitted unusual testing data, increased scrutiny by the Department of Education helped uncover fraud and led to a successful investigation,” said White. “Mississippians deserve to know that public employees and private consulting firms are providing the work they say they are, and this type of willful fraud is inexcusable. We will recommend the stiffest penalty possible.”

Howze-Campbell surrendered to special agents at the Quitman County Jail. She waved her arraignment, and her bond was set at $5,000. If convicted, Howze-Campbell faces $10,000 in fines and five years in prison.

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