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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.

Comment on this Story

  • broke citizen

    steal half a million dollars and you dont have to pay it back,just do couple of yrs in jail ,and its ok then….who wouldnt go to jail for that little time for that kind of money.that sends a wonderful message to crooks!!!! remember to say im broke,cant pay u back…

  • A relative speaking

    Payback is Hell isn’t it Bernice. Yours and my relatives are all turning over in their graves at what you have done. Embarrassing isn’t the word. I heard that you have been doing this for years and are just now getting caught at it. What goes around comes around and its finally come around to YOU ! You have hurt countless people this time and ruined children’s futures and prospects for a education all under the disguise of a prayerful Christian woman. Pictures of you working at soup kitchens, giving out presents to little kids, pretending to help the needy, smiling with your church friends. A 911 operator. What a farce ! You are a very SELFISH con- artist and previous friends wil see through you from now on.! I hope you learn something while your in prison, but I doubt you will.

  • Been There

    I did not have that much stolen from my business but I feel the Gordmans pain. They go to jail you get nothing, A civil judgement is useless, bankruptcy wipes it out. She was in a trusted position be be able to do that. THEY ARE SCUM!

  • not the judge

    I doubt anyone s turning over in their graves as you think. You are correct in saying what goes around comes around and that includes you. Judge not, lest you be judged! People. including you, have your own sins to deal with, Just because your’s are hidden to the public doesn’t make them any more wrong. You would do well to focus on your own issues and not worry about others. i am sure that would give you something else better to do WITH YOUR SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS!!

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