Former Columbus CFO accused of embezzling over $300,000

Milton Rawle, Jr., the former Chief Financial Officer for the City of Columbus, is in custody on embezzlement charges.

State Auditor Shad White announced the Monday arrest of Rawle following his indictment for embezzlement by a grand jury.  Upon his arrest, Rawle was issued a demand letter for $354,896.27, which includes interest and investigative expenses.

Milton Rawle (Image courtesy of the Office of State Auditor Shad White)

White said Rawle is accused of embezzling nearly $290,000 by making electronic money transfers to personal bank accounts from December 2016 to December 2018.  Rawle purportedly used official-sounding labels like “payroll” and “reimbursement” to hide unauthorized transactions.  Investigators also believe he used clipart to alter city bank statements to conceal the transfers.

“The case was investigated after accounting discrepancies were found and reported by a private CPA hired by the City of Columbus to complete a routine, annual audit,” said White.

White stated, “Mr. Rawle stole a great deal from the taxpayers of Columbus.  I’m thankful for the hard work of the auditor’s office investigators for building this case against him. Now it’s time for prosecutors to send him to prison and get the money back.”

Rawle was arrested by Special Agents in Jackson County and was transported to Lowndes County where his bond will be set by the court.

If convicted, Rawle faces up to 20 years in prison and $25,000 in fines.

“Prosecutors should not go lightly here just because Mr. Rawle is a non-violent offender,” White said. “Mr. Rawle stole much more than many burglars could ever get away with. We shouldn’t treat him differently just because he wore a tie and stole with a pen.”

White said, while a $100,000 surety bond covers Rawle’s time as an employee of Columbus, he will remain liable for the full amount of the demand in addition to criminal proceedings.