Former Clerk Gets Prison Time

A former deputy chancery clerk in Jones County has been sentenced to prison for embezzlement.

State Auditor Stacey Pickering announced Tuesday that Natalie Brooke Ward pleaded guilty to the charges against her and was sentenced to 12 years in prison with 5 years suspended.

Officials say Ward’s guilty plea follows an investigation into the missing funds from the Jones County Land Redemption account.

It was determined by the State Auditor’s investigation that Ward did willfully divert funds for her personal use from the account beginning in November 2004 and lasting through January 2008.

Ward was employed in the Chancery Clerk’s Office from August 1, 2002 – February 13, 2008, when she resigned as deputy Chancery Clerk.

A demand was issued from the State Auditor for repayment in the amount of $307,985.48 for funds missing from the Land Redemption Account and the Judge has ordered restitution for the embezzled funds.

In addition to the principal amount, $218,024.59, the demanded amount includes $57,271.37 in interest calculated from the date the funds were taken and $32,689.52 in investigative costs incurred by the State Auditor’s Office, all totaling $307,985.48.

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  • by Anonymous on Sep 22, 2009 at 07:20 PM
    Don't u think if she stole all that money she would have something to show for it? I mean come on people!!!!!!!
  • by Anonymous on Sep 22, 2009 at 07:19 PM
    Well if she didn't plead guilty then she would have served 20 to 30 years...... Something is up with the whole situation!
  • by anonymous on Sep 22, 2009 at 06:58 PM
    Her husband stood by his wife!! And you only here what everyone wants you to here! You have not heard all the facts! She may be in jail,but it is not over! The truth will come out! And all guilty parties will be found out!! With every comment,it's her children and family that suffer!! Think about it!!
  • by Anonymous Location: Lauderdale on Sep 22, 2009 at 03:48 PM
    Good deal. Remember on Dec. 8, 2008 when her husband proclaimed her innocence and made a big "stank" about her being framed? So why would she plead guilty?
  • by Anonymous on Sep 22, 2009 at 01:54 PM
    whaat eer happend with all of the money from HARE Mortagage and the attorneys involved? Got kinda quite....
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