Woman repays half of $6K embezzled from Bay High School band students as part of plea deal in Mississippi
A woman who embezzled $6,000 Bay High band students had earned for a trip to Florida has repaid half the money as part of a plea deal, a prosecutor said.
Kimberly Luxich, 43, faced a 10-year prison term for embezzling money the band members had raised to pay for a trip to perform at Disney World in Orlando in 2013.
She pleaded guilty Monday in Hancock County Circuit Court.
The state planned to recommend prison time but her attorney asked if she could make a sizeable payment to stay out of prison, and leaders of the Band Boosters Club agreed, Assistant District Attorney Chris Daniel said.
Allowing Luxich to repay half the money now means students who earned the money and are now seniors will benefit from part of what they raised, Daniel said. Luxich brought $3,000 in money orders to court for deposit in the booster club account, he said.
Judge Roger Clark imposed a 10-year prison term, suspended eight years and ordered Luxich to be on house arrest for two years. She also must repay the rest of the money.
Luxich was treasurer of the band's booster club and was the only person authorized to handle its bank account, Daniel said.
She admitted she had started taking money to pay bills and intended to pay it back but said she couldn't afford to do it, Daniel said.
Bay St. Louis police arrested her Aug. 7, 2013, after receiving a complaint of missing money. She was suspected of embezzling $12,000. Prosecutors could only prove she took about $6,000, Daniel said.
"The Hancock County community rallied around the band to raise money so the students could make their trip," he said. "They actually raised more money than we could prove she took."
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