Investigators arrest two women in separate Rankin County cases

Published: Nov. 7, 2023 at 12:53 PM CST
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RANKIN COUNTY, Miss. (WLBT) - Two women have been arrested in two separate Rankin County embezzlement cases: Hope Bishop, the former Vice President of Human Resources at the Mississippi Lottery Corporation, and Brittney Phillips, a former clerk at the Rankin County Tax Collector’s Office.

Bishop is accused of giving herself unauthorized raises.

The Lottery Commission staff discovered Bishop’s alleged embezzlement and reported it to the State Auditor’s office when they were improving lottery operations.

Bishop was served a $187,738.85 demand at the time of her arrest.

Bishop had no access to the gaming side of lottery operations, so her alleged actions did not affect the integrity of lottery games.

Phillips is accused of embezzling cash from the Rankin County Tax Collector’s Office by not registering car tags and taking the cash payments.

Tax Collector Caroline Gilbert turned the case over to the Auditor’s Office when she suspected that Phillips was potentially embezzling funds.

Phillips was served a $36,583.47 demand at the time of her arrest.

According to a statement from Gilbert, Phillips had been with the office since September of 2021. She was terminated in May of this year when her theft was confirmed by video surveillance.

“I hope this will be the last time someone decides to dip their fingers into the taxpayers’ money,” Gilbert stated.

Bishop faces up to 20 years and $25,000 in fines if convicted. Phillips faces up to 20 years and $5,000 in fines if convicted.

All persons arrested by the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

District Attorney John “Bubba” Bramlett’s office will prosecute the case.

An insurance policy covers Bishop’s employment at the Mississippi Lottery Corporation. A $50,000 surety bond covers Phillips’ employment at the Rankin County Tax Collector’s Office.

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