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Ex-employee faces charge involving gifted student program

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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A former employee of a Mississippi school system was arrested Thursday on a fraud charge, the state auditor said in a news release.

Linder Howze-Campbell worked for the Quitman County School District, according to Auditor Shad White.

White said Howze-Campbell is accused of running a fraudulent business under a friend’s name. The business collected $50,000 from the school district for services aimed at identifying gifted students in the district — while Howze-Campbell was overseeing the district’s gifted student program, he said.

“A routine audit led to suspicion Howze-Campbell had submitted forged business contracts to the school district,” White’s news release said. “Investigators determined the friend she listed as executive director of L & A Educational Services was never an employee of the company. They also identified over 50 fraudulent checks Howze-Campbell wrote from an L & A Educational Services bank account without the knowledge of the person listed as executive director of the company.”

Howze-Campbell surrendered Wednesday at the Quitman County Jail and bond was set at $5,000, the news release said. It was unclear if she had an attorney who could comment on her behalf.

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