Thursday, August 23, 2018

Embezzler Gets Nearly 20 Years

Rankin-Madison District Attorney Michael Guest issued the following press release. 

Madison and Rankin Counties’ District Attorney Michael Guest announced today that Steven Brooks Russell of Hinds County received a 20-year prison sentence for embezzlement. A jury convicted Russell of Embezzlement in an amount greater than $25,000.

On February 7, 2017, Detective Lee Drake of the Richland Police Department was contacted by members of KLLM management, who reported a possible theft by Russell, one of KLLM's long time trusted employees. Russell worked in dispatch, scheduling repairs of tractors and trailers for long haul KLLM truck drivers.

An unscheduled internal audit revealed that multiple Comchecks were being cashed at the Pilot Truck Stop on Gallatin Street in Jackson. KLLM records revealed these repair orders were for tractor and trailer repairs allegedly conducted all over the country. Despite the vendors being located throughout the United States, all the payments were cashed locally, thereby triggering automatic review. Each of these repair transactions were also opened and closed by Russell.

On February 8, 2017, KLLM informed Detective Drake that Russell had opened, closed, and issued a Comcheck shortly before lunch. Detective Drake went to the Pilot on Gallatin and found Russell's vehicle. Upon entering the truck stop Drake saw Russell in the process of cashing a Comcheck. Drake videotaped Russell cashing a Comcheck and receiving the money.

Drake stopped Russell and found the receipt and money from the Comcheck in question. Drake located a post-it note with the Comcheck code in the Defendant's pocket and additional blank Comchecks in the Defendant's pocket.

Drake interviewed Russell who claimed he was acting as a middle man, cashing Comchecks for other drivers. During the 30-minutes interview, Russell made several statements that Drake began refuting. Russell ultimately invoked his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.

Assistant District Attorneys Dewey Arthur and Al Jernigan tried the case. At trial they introduced documents, including work orders, repair orders, Comchecks, and Comcheck receipts showing more than one hundred ninety thousand dollars ($190,000.00) was stolen by Russell.

During sentencing, Dewey Arthur presented evidence that Russell had been previously convicted for embezzling fifty thousand dollars. A Hinds County judge gave Russell a suspended sentence in 1998. Based on the facts of the case, the large loss to KLLM, and the prior embezzlement, Judge William E. Chapman sentenced Russell to the maximum penalty, 20 years to serve in the penitentiary.

Assistant District Attorney Dewey Arthur argued, “the maximum sentence is required to send the message to other criminals that businesses can operate safely in Rankin and Madison Counties. Russell failed to change his conduct after being given a second chance following his conviction in Hinds County and now he should be held accountable for his continued criminal behavior.”

Guest concluded, “I cannot thank Richland Detective Lee Drake, Dewey Arthur, and Al Jernigan enough for their hard work in bringing to justice a defendant who has stolen almost $250,000.00 from businesses in Hinds and Rankin County. While any business or organization can be the victim of theft it is important to hold accountable those who would steal from others. ”

District Attorney Michael Guest was sworn into office in January 2008 and represents the Twentieth Judicial District, Madison and Rankin Counties. For more information regarding the District Attorney’s office, please visit www.daguest.comy


Name: Steven Brooks Russell
Address: 121 Tracewood Cove, Clinton, MS 39056
Date of Birth: March 30, 1964

Kingfish note: Mr. Russell will probably only have to serve 25% of the sentence since it is considered to be a non-violent offense.


Anonymous said...

“Only 25%”??? That’s FIVE YEARS in a state prison. Hardly a slap on the wrist. Also, if he is lucky enough to receive parole at that point, he will spend a very long time on parole monitoring. Seems like a pretty steep punishment to me. We should prioritize paying back the employer instead of simply “punishment.”

Anonymous said...

So long, scumbag! Hope whatever you spent it on was worth it!

Anonymous said...

2:23pm In 1977 under The first commissioner of Corrections Mr. McDougal we started the first restitution center in Mississippi at the old county farm buildings in Pascagoula. The Center was to train Men into the various disciplines used at Ingalls ShipBuilding. Then they were to pay for not only their room, board and security, they were to have a court ordered plan on paying back their victims. Sadly the entire program fell apart due to the extremely high number of criminals sent to Parchman in that and subsequent years, which led the legislature to pass a law allowing for anyone convicted of a non violent crime to be released after one year. This was done so that the DOC could comply with Judge Bill Keady's overcrowding reduction Federal Court Order..

Anonymous said...

2:33 - if he were to steal $200k from you, would you still feel like he shouldn't spend 5 in the pokey? Plus restitution?

And, before you answer, remember this was his second rodeo - so he's had his slap on the wrist.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with 2:33. Bernie got 25 years and Lamar Adams will get 25 at the most. Make the guy pay it back but to house him with violent criminals seems off . But then we don’t want to delve into the doings of Judge Chapmen and his former cohort in business/ Developing residential properties non other than the one and only Levon Owens. Between Chapmen and Owens they ruined Hinds County by influencing claimants of prescription drug lawsuits awarded in Jefferson County to but in their subdivision s

Anonymous said...

few criminals such as this one have the ability to pay restitution. send them to jail.

Anonymous said...

Pure coincidence that Arthur is running for Circuit Court Judge and got quoted in a Guest press release. I’m sure Guest and Co. will do a press release and ask for maximum jail time on their employee’s embezzlement.

Anonymous said...

I know this loser. He's a lying piece of pond scum.

IS IT THE TRUTH? said...

The bait seemed alluring, but there are bigger fish to fry.

Anonymous said...

Guest is busy shopping at Target and Dollar Tree for his D.C. apartment. Hope his collections business will handle that D.C. lifestyle and cost of living.

Anonymous said...

Tell Guest if he doesn't want to sleep in his office, he can probably find a nice Garage Apartment (550 sq ft.) for $3k right off of Pennsylvania Ave.on S.Carolina SE.

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