Former Mississippi volunteer fire chief, secretary charged in $30k embezzlement scheme

MARSHALL COUNTY, Miss. — A former volunteer fire chief in Red Banks, Miss., and a secretary for the fire department were arrested in a $30,000 embezzlement scheme, officials say.

Former Red Banks Volunteer Fire Department Chief Mark Hanna and Linda Mannon, a former secretary, were arrested in Marshall County after being indicted for the embezzlement, according to a release from state auditor Shad White.

Special Agents presented both Hanna and Mannon with separate demand letters totaling over $50,000, including interest and investigative expenses.

Hanna is accused of using fire department funds to purchase farm and lawn equipment for his own personal use. He also allegedly used public money to make a payment on his house, the release said.

A demand letter for $3,459.15 was presented to Hanna at the time of his arrest.

Mannon allegedly issued herself over 100 different RBVFD checks totaling over $30,000 while she was working as a secretary for the fire department, according to the release.

A $47,229.12 demand letter was presented to her upon arrest.

The Auditor’s office began investigating these cases when local officials in Marshall County noticed accounting discrepancies at the fire department and filed a complaint. The embezzlement lasted from October 2015 to February 2019, officials said.

Both Hanna and Mannon surrendered themselves at the Marshall County Sheriff’s office. Bail will be set by the court.

Both individuals will face up to 20 years in prison and $5,000 in fines if convicted, the release said.

A third demand letter was issued to Odis Pruitt, a former RBVFD board member. This demand is meant to recover public money spent in error. The demand letter issued to Pruitt is not accompanied by criminal allegations, officials said.