Monday, October 7, 2019 4:41 PM EST
By The Associated Press, AP
RIDGELAND, S.C. (AP) — A former Jasper County employee has pleaded guilty to embezzling nearly $275,000.
Prosecutors say that 57-year-old Denise Smith of Kennsaw, Georgia, pleaded guilty Friday to embezzling $274,175 while working as a financial analyst for the county.
A judge sentenced her to eight years in prison and to repay the money.
Prosecutors said she created invoices for a fake landscaping company that the county paid.
County officials became aware of discrepancies after she retired and was hired part-time to train her replacement.
Francine Norz of the 14th Circuit Solicitor's Office said the thefts were not a "one-time thing" and that Smith abused the public's trust.