PONTOTOC • Former Ecru City Clerk Gretchin Moody will have to serve 5 years of house arrest and repay almost $200,000 after pleading guilty to embezzlement.

Moody appeared Friday before Pontotoc County Circuit Court Judge Kelly Mims and entered an open plea of guilty to embezzlement by a public official. Mims sentenced the 47-year-old to 20 years. If she completes five years of house arrest and repays the $183,144.28 within that time span, the remaining 15 years will be suspended.

Moody was indicted by a Pontotoc County grand jury in September 2017 on three counts of embezzlement by a public official. At the time of the crimes, from January 2012 through March 2016, she took the money that was being paid as fines and converted the money to her own use. During that time, she was also making purchases for herself using city of Ecru’s BancorpSouth Bank credit card and she was giving herself extra pay checks.

The judge gave her 20-year suspended sentences on the other two counts of embezzlement to run consecutively. If she fails to honor the agreement, she will have to serve all 60 years.

Moody paid $75,000 of the restitution Friday, leaving a remaining balance of $108,144.28. A total of $35,043.64 of that amount is owed to the State Auditor’s Office for investigative costs and $73,100.64 will be paid to the city of Ecru.

“Her role in embezzling funds from the people of Ecru was inexcusable, and she needed to be held accountable,” said State Auditor Shad White.

william.moore@journalinc.com Twitter:@WilliamMoore_DJ

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