MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – A woman who worked as payroll clerk for the city of Prichard has been indicted on federal fraud charges.
The indictment, filed this week in U.S. District Court, alleges that Sheila Milner Jackson filed a fraudulent document in a bankruptcy proceeding and diverted $4,200 in taxpayer funds to her personal account.
Jackson is the second city official to be indicted in the last few months, although the cases appear to be unconnected. Kim Wright Green, who was Prichard city clerk, pleaded guilty this month to embezzlement.
Jackson’s indictment charges her with bankruptcy fraud and 14 counts of mail fraud. Those charges have maximum penalties of five and 20 years, respectively, upon conviction.
Jackson stands accused of abusing her position from December 2018 until November of last year. The alleged fraud stems from a 2015 bankruptcy filing in which she agreed to have $698 withheld from her paychecks each month for five years in order to pay her creditors.
Authorities contend she falsified city records and misrepresented the amount of money to be withheld from her paychecks as part of the bankruptcy case.
The indictment alleges that Jackson, whose job gave her access to payroll records, altered check stubs for payments made by Prichard to the Chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee. Falsified documents made it appear as though Jackson was complying with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge’s wage deduction order when she was not, according to the indictment.
The indictment lists 14 separate $352 checks issued by the city to the bankruptcy trustee. Those checks constitute the mail fraud charges.
Prichard Mayor Jimmie Gardner said Jackson left her city job a few months ago to take a position with the Mobile County Personnel Board. He said he was unaware of the indictment.
“I don’t know what the particulars are,” he said.
U.S. District Court officials have not yet set an arraignment date for Jackson.