Lile Gets 10 Years for Embezzlement
COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — A 62-year-old Columbus woman is sentenced to 10 years for stealing almost $500,000 from her employer.
Under state prison rules, Bernice Lile likely will serve between 18 and 30 months in prison. She also will have a civil judgement for $474,238 filed against her. That will give the victims, Jack and Alan Gordman of Gordman Insurance, the right to go after any income or assets she might have in the future.
Lowndes County Circuit Court Judge Lee Coleman told both sides he had little choice but to impose the maximum sentence since Lile is in bankruptcy, has almost no assets, and has been unable to come up with money to pay toward restitution.
Lile worked at Gordman Insurance and admitted to taking 800 dollars or more a day between January 2010 and September 2011 and giving much of the money to others.
She served on the Lowndes County E-911 Board at the time.
In brief statement, Lile apologized the Gordmans, saying, “I am sorry for what happened.”
The Gordmans previously told Coleman they would be satisfied with Lile being placed on house arrest for some period of time if she could make “substantial” and “significant” restitution. She pleaded guilty this summer and her sentncing has been postponed twice to give her and her family a chance to raise money toward restitution.
But during today’s sentencing, her attorney, Rod Ray, said they’d had no luck. The only option is a term life insurance policy Bernice Lile carries on herself, but that policy has no cash value. Furthermore, Lile might outlive the Gordmans or her other heairs might also have claims, making the policy of little value toward restitution.