Former housing director, Ann Jefferson, gets 32 months in jail

August 9, 2012 in Business, News, Statewide News

From The Mississippi Link Newswire

OXFORD – Ann “AJ” Jefferson, the former executive director of the South Delta Regional Housing Authority, has been sentenced by United States Senior District Judge Glen Davidson, in Aberdeen, following her conviction this spring on two counts of embezzlement, two counts of obstruction of justice, and three counts of witness intimidation.

Judge Davidson ordered 58-year-old Jefferson to serve 32 months in prison. She was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $41,178.90.

Ann Jefferson

Jefferson, who is from Leland, was found to have embezzled federal funds from several housing authority accounts for her own personal use and to have retaliated against several employees when she found out those employees were cooperating with federal investigators.

Jefferson also faced allegations that she inappropriately used South Delta maintenance employees to upkeep and maintain her personal lawn and residence.

“The attainment of safe and affordable housing is a basic tenet of the American dream,” said Felicia C. Adams, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi. “Ms. Jefferson exploited low income families who sought to secure their piece of this dream for her own financial gain. The U.S. Attorney’s Office will act aggressively to ensure that individuals who engage in illegal conduct will be brought to justice.”

Daniel McMullen, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Mississippi, stated: “As the executive director of the South Delta Regional Housing Authority, it was Ann Jefferson’s responsibility to assist low income families in obtaining safe, affordable housing. Jefferson abrogated that responsibility by using the power and authority entrusted to her to enrich herself and to exploit, rather than help, those who were most in need.”

McMullen further said he appreciated the investigators and prosecutors whose efforts led to Jefferson’s sentencing.

“I’d like to personally recognize and thank the witnesses who came forward, at great personal risk, to expose the crimes committed by Jefferson,” he said.