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Quitman tax assessor charged with embezzlement, fraud over credit card use

JACKSON, Mississippi – Quitman County Tax Assessor Kimberly Bell has been indicted on four counts of embezzlement and one count of fraud in what authorities say stemmed from more than $50,000 in unauthorized credit card charges, including cash advances of over $8,000.

Sheriff’s deputies booked Bell into the Quitman County Jail Monday.

Bell, 38, is accused of misusing over $56,000 in taxpayer funds over a one-year period from October 2012 through September 2013.

Bell spent approximately $52,099.76 using a Quitman County travel credit card on expenses that were not approved by the Board of Supervisors, including cash advances totaling $8,179.00, authorities say.  She also used the Tax Assessor’s bank account to write unallowable checks totaling $4,840.70, according to arrest papers.

“Ms. Bell is an elected official who abused her position for her own personal gain,” State Auditor Stacey Pickering said.

Bell was elected Tax Assessor in November 2011 and took office in January 2012. Before her election, Bell had worked in the Chancery Clerk’s office since 2001.

 

 

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