ABERDEEN, Miss. (WTVA) - The State Auditor’s Office released more information about the arrest of Aberdeen Mayor Maurice Howard.
According to the state office on Thursday, Howard was indicted for five counts of embezzlement by a grand jury.
He was issued a demand letter worth $11,649.34 at the time of his arrest on Wednesday, according to the state office. The demand included interest and investigate costs.
“Howard is accused of embezzling city funds meant to pay for travel expenses related to city business,” read the state office's press release.
He allegedly sought and was paid advance checks for attending meetings and conferences on behalf of the City of Aberdeen but failed to actually attend the events.
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Howard is accused of depositing the checks into his personal bank account and not returning the unused money.
The amount of money he allegedly stole is approximately $3,500.
“Investigators also determined the Mayor used a city vehicle for personal travel. In addition to this, they found Howard should repay the city for providing hotel rooms and conference registration fees the Mayor never used. This part of the demand is worth over $2,000 and is not part of the criminal allegations against him,” the statement read.
If convicted on all counts, he could face significant prison time and fines.
“A $100,000 surety bond covers Howard’s time as mayor of the City of Aberdeen. A surety bond is similar to insurance designed to protect taxpayers from corruption. Howard will remain liable for the full amount of the demand in addition to criminal proceedings,” according to the statement.
Howard spoke with WTVA Wednesday night in which he said the accusations are false.