JACKSON, Miss. — A man charged in connection with a Hinds County embezzlement scheme has been ordered to repay thousands of dollars in restitution.
Cedric Cornelius pleaded guilty Monday to various counts of bribery of a public official, conspiracy to make/submit fraudulent statements to the government, making/submitting false statements to defraud the government, and making/submitting false writings to defraud the government.
Hinds County District Attorney Jody E. Owens II said the plea deal was part of the ongoing investigation into the misappropriation of Hinds County funds during the 2020 election. District 2 Election Commissioner Toni Johnson is one of those charged in the case. Johnson is yet to stand trial.
State Auditor Shad White said Cornelius used his company, Apogee Group II, LLC, to work with an election commissioner to be paid without work being performed.
As part of the plea agreement, Cornelius will be required to pay restitution of $170,946 with $50,000 on or before Jan. 20.
“The fact that the majority of the funds misappropriated in this case were intended to help ensure the safety of Hinds County voters during the pandemic makes this crime particularly heinous,” Owens said. “We will not tolerate public corruption in Hinds County.”
Cornelius’s plea follows the guilty plea of Sudie Jones-Teague, another co-conspirator. Both have agreed to testify in the ongoing Hinds County Election Commission case. Sentencing will be held at a later date.