Former Tunica County housing official faces embezzlement charges

Mardis Jones, former director of Tunica County Housing Incorporated. Source: Mississippi Office of the State Auditor

Former Tunica County housing official Mardis Jones faces embezzlement charges.

Posted: Feb 25, 2021 12:23 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (WTVA) - The state auditor has ordered the former director of the Tunica County Housing Project to repay more than $1 million.

Special agents arrested Mardis Jones after a grand jury indicted him for allegedly embezzling public money, State Auditor Shad White announced Thursday.

Jones received a demand letter totaling $1,081,143.07 upon his arrest.

White says this amount represents the second-largest demand in a criminal case in the history of his office and includes both interest and investigative expenses.

The Tunica County Housing Incorporated is responsible for operating a program to rehabilitate dilapidated homes owned by low-income residents.

Jones’ job called for him to take applications from local homeowners and connect them with contractors to make repairs. He'd then submit funding requests to the county Board of Supervisors to pay the contractors.

He’s accused of embezzling more than $750,000 from the program.

If found guilty, he faces up to 40 years in prison and $45,000 in fines.

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