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Published on June 13, 2024
Ex-Mississippi Lottery VP Hope Bishop Sentenced to 20 Years for Embezzlement, With Partial House ArrestSource: State Auditor's Office

Hope Bishop, the former Vice President of Human Resources for the Mississippi Lottery Corporation, has been sentenced to 20 years with 15 years suspended, following her guilty plea on embezzlement charges. Arrested back in November 2023, Bishop's scheme involved self-authorized pay raises that were unearthed during an internal review aimed at boosting lottery operations, as reported by WLBT.

Bishop's sentence includes 5 years of house arrest and subsequent probation, and while she was handed a hefty demand for repayment, an insurance policy in place during her tenure with the lottery corporation covered her employment. As mentioned by The Oxford Eagle, her actions have sparked the implementation of stricter controls within the corporation to prevent future occurrences. Employees were the ones who initially spotted the discrepancies and took action.

The necessity for additional preventative measures has been a focal point since the disclosure of Bishop's irregularities; this led to the initiative to enhance the oversight protocols within the lottery's operations. The corporation has expressed that the integrity of lottery games remained untainted as Bishop did not have interaction with the game side of operations, a matter of some reassurance to the public. This detail was underlined by the state auditor and further supported by AP News.

Fines and investigative costs were also imposed on Bishop, along with the demand to recover embezzled funds totaling $187,738.85. The Rankin County Circuit Court laid out these financial reparations as part of her sentence, ensuring that a message of accountability echoes through the halls of the Mississippi Lottery Corporation. By such measures, trust in these institutions can, to some extent, be restored.