Columbus police investigate shocking embezzlement case

A Columbus city councilman is listed as the beneficiary of an alleged embezzlement scheme.

Posted: Oct 2, 2018 4:52 PM
Updated: Oct 3, 2018 11:05 AM

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WTVA) - A Columbus city councilman is listed as the beneficiary of an alleged embezzlement scheme.

Sharon Smith, a worker at Bargain Hunt, is accused of not charging a select group of people for their store items.


Sharon Renae Smith | Photo: Columbus PD

The store estimated the goods to be worth approximately $3,219.45. However, the amount could be higher.

A store loss prevention official said this involved the same customers coming through multiple times.

According to the police report, those customers included Ward 5 Councilman Stephen Jones and his wife Stephanie Jones.

Stephen Jones had been verified to have left the store on four occasions with unpaid items, according to the police report. His wife reportedly left the store on two occasions with unpaid items.

Columbus Police Chief Fred Shelton says store workers had been watching Smith since June and his department was notified last week.

He says Smith is currently the only person charged in the case. According to Bargain Hunt's company policy, they only seek prosecution and restitution from store employees and not any customers involved.

On Wednesday, Jones released the following statement to WTVA:

"I was as surprised as anyone to hear my name involved in the situation. I wasn't contacted prior to the press release by anyone, so I am still learning what I am apparently accused of along with everyone else watching the news. I have always paid for everything I've gotten from Bargain Hunt - or any other store for that matter. I'm hoping to get the matter cleared up as soon as possible."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 319115

Reported Deaths: 7353
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22246264
Hinds20612421
Harrison18342316
Rankin13855282
Jackson13666248
Madison10213224
Lee10050176
Jones8452167
Forrest7810153
Lauderdale7253242
Lowndes6488149
Lamar632288
Lafayette6295120
Washington5412136
Bolivar4833133
Panola4659110
Oktibbeha465898
Pearl River4591146
Marshall4571105
Warren4436121
Pontotoc424573
Union415576
Monroe4154135
Neshoba4059179
Lincoln4007111
Hancock385187
Leflore3514125
Tate342386
Sunflower339391
Pike3366110
Alcorn323272
Scott319274
Yazoo313971
Adams304785
Itawamba304777
Copiah299666
Coahoma298283
Simpson297889
Tippah291168
Prentiss283361
Leake271674
Marion271280
Covington266683
Wayne264442
Grenada264087
George251851
Newton248563
Tishomingo230867
Winston229881
Jasper222048
Attala214973
Chickasaw210459
Holmes190374
Clay187454
Stone187233
Tallahatchie179941
Clarke178980
Calhoun173732
Yalobusha167740
Smith164034
Walthall135147
Greene131633
Lawrence131024
Montgomery128643
Noxubee127934
Perry126638
Amite125942
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Tunica107927
Jefferson Davis107633
Claiborne102930
Benton102225
Humphreys97533
Kemper96628
Franklin84923
Quitman81816
Choctaw79018
Wilkinson69332
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50817
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 547323

Reported Deaths: 11266
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson808021563
Mobile41925826
Madison35600522
Tuscaloosa26136458
Shelby25554254
Montgomery25067610
Baldwin21774313
Lee16234175
Calhoun14692325
Morgan14614285
Etowah14132361
Marshall12443230
Houston10748287
Elmore10295212
Limestone10180157
St. Clair10146250
Cullman9921200
Lauderdale9582248
DeKalb8955189
Talladega8441184
Walker7318279
Autauga7215113
Blount6925139
Jackson6900113
Colbert6394139
Coffee5616126
Dale4928114
Russell454441
Chilton4461116
Franklin430683
Covington4263122
Tallapoosa4117154
Escambia400280
Chambers3715123
Dallas3604156
Clarke352861
Marion3231106
Pike313978
Lawrence3121100
Winston283372
Bibb267364
Geneva256981
Marengo250565
Pickens236562
Barbour234559
Hale226578
Butler223371
Fayette217162
Henry193843
Cherokee187245
Randolph186844
Monroe179141
Washington170339
Macon163051
Clay159559
Crenshaw155057
Cleburne152543
Lamar145837
Lowndes141953
Wilcox127030
Bullock124242
Conecuh112930
Coosa111129
Perry108726
Sumter105732
Greene93434
Choctaw61725
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
78° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 74°
Feels Like: 81°
Columbus
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 73°
Oxford
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 74°
Feels Like: 73°
Starkville
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 72°
Rain and thunderstorms will continue into this afternoon and evening. However, drier weather is in store for next week.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather