Hinds Co. official indicted for embezzling $15,000 from credit union
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - An indictment is revealing more details about the alleged crime committed by a Hinds County official.
Wednesday, deputies arrested Director of Administration Stephen Hopkins on an embezzlement charge.
Hopkins was indicted by a grand jury in October.
However, he was not arrested until June 29, when Ridgeland Police ran a background check on the county official after he was in a car wreck.
Hinds County deputies picked him up and transported him to the Raymond Detention Center. He was later released on a $15,000 bond.
According to the indictment, between January 1, 2019, and January 31, 2021, Hopkins “embezzled and converted to his own use at least $15,000″ from his former employer, HealthPlus Federal Credit Union in Jackson.
At the time, he was serving as chief executive officer of HealthPlus, according to his LinkedIn profile. He joined the county in April 2021.
Hopkins, 42, had an accident near Rice Road and Old Canton Road Wednesday morning while driving a county vehicle.
District Attorney Jody Owens was unsure why it took so long for Hopkins to be served.
“That question has to be given to the warrants division. When it was filed, it was filed in the circuit clerk’s office and then sent to the warrants division of the sheriff’s office,” he said.
Owens said about 2,000 indictments are handed down by his office each year, and the sheriff’s department prioritizes serving violent offenders.
“Between the October indictment and now, we have had... probably 90 murders and double (that number) in aggravated assaults (in Jackson),” he said. “I want (the warrants division) to find those individuals first.”
“I want everybody to be served, but the priority should be violent offenders.”
Hopkins, meanwhile, if convicted, would be a first-time, non-violent offender.
He is not considered a flight risk, according to the bond order handed down by Circuit Judge Winston Kidd.
Owens also didn’t realize that the indictment was for the same person he works with on a regular basis, and also explained that one file had his name spelled as “Steven” instead of “Stephen.”
“I didn’t recognize this as Stephen Hopkins, who I regularly send stuff to in an official capacity,” he said. “There was no coverup or anything of that nature.”
Sheriff Tyree Jones was not in office when the indictment was handed down and only learned about it about Wednesday morning.
He said part of the problem was Hopkins was not arrested prior to being indicted.
“I’m not sure why he wasn’t served prior to yesterday. Once we learned of it, we took immediate action and arrested and served him,” Jones said.
“Had I known about it before yesterday, I would have made it a priority, based on the fact that he is a county employee in charge of the administrative division.”
Hopkins’ attorney was not immediately available for comment.
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