BRANDON, Miss. (WJTV) – Special Agents from the State Auditor’s Office arrested two women in Rankin County on separate embezzlement cases.
The suspects are Hope Bishop, the former Vice President of Human Resources at the Mississippi Lottery Corporation (MLC), and Brittney Phillips, a former clerk at the Rankin County Tax Collector’s Office.
According to State Auditor Shad White, Bishop gave herself unauthorized raises. The MLC staff discovered Bishop’s alleged embezzlement and reported it to the State Auditor’s office when they were improving lottery operations. White said the MLC has now put into place additional controls to prevent embezzlement in the future. Bishop was served a $187,738.85 demand at the time of her arrest.
Officials said Bishop had no access to the gaming side of lottery operations, and her alleged actions did not affect the integrity of lottery games.
According to White, Phillips embezzled cash from the Rankin County Tax Collector’s Office by not registering car tags and taking the cash payments. Tax Collector Caroline Gilbert turned the case over to the Auditor’s Office when she suspected that Phillips was potentially embezzling funds. Phillips was served a $36,583.47 demand at the time of her arrest.
Bishop faces up to 20 years and $25,000 in fines if convicted, and Phillips faces up to 20 years and $5,000 in fines if convicted.