nab embezzling suspect
Byhalia police arrested a 46-year-old woman Friday on embezzlement, uttering forgery and credit card fraud charges, according to investigator Kerry Reid.
She was also wanted in three other states, he said, one of those since 2008.
Margaret Michelle Newman, who had a Texas identification and used several aliases, is charged with embezzling approximately $40,000 from a Byhalia business, Reid said.
He said Newman began her new job on March 14 and was given financial responsibilities, including use of a credit card for business purposes.
“She began almost immediately making personal purchases with the credit card,” Reid said. “She also wrote herself checks with a forged signature and made some direct deposits to her personal account.”
On Wednesday, March 22, the credit card company’s fraud division contacted the business owner about the suspicious purchase of furniture – more than $4,000 worth. He had not made or approved the buy and had the card cancelled, according to Reid.
The suspect did not report to work that day and the business owner contacted authorities on Thursday, May 23.
As Byhalia police began to investigate, they discovered Newman had warrants for her arrest from Missouri, Arkansas and Tennessee. Those charges included theft of property and violation of probation, Reid said.
He said the suspect had given false addresses locally, including vacant lots and empty houses.
“Through a list of her purchases, we began to narrow down where she was frequenting and maybe staying,” Reid said. “We were able to track her to Southaven, even to a point of being able to follow her daily routine.”
Friday, May 24, about 4:30 p.m., with the assistance of Southaven police, Newman was arrested at the Malco Theater on Goodman Road in Southaven, he said. She was escorted from the theater by Southaven officers prior to her viewing of “Fast and Furious 6” and then taken into custody in the parking lot by Byhalia Police Chief Gary Looney and Reid.
Officers next went to Newman’s residence in Southaven, but she would not give them a consent to search.
“With the help of Southaven police, we obtained a search warrant,” Chief Looney said. “We recovered several items that had been purchased with the credit card (from the Byhalia business). And we will possibly be obtaining other search warrants for other locations (where items might have been stored).”
Newman was transported to the Byhalia Police Department, where she was processed, and then taken to the Marshall County Jail, according to Reid.
Her bond is $150,000, he said, plus she is on hold for other agencies in the other states.
Reid said he is unsure how Newman surfaced at the Byhalia business, but she apparently had connections in the area.
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