Former director of state veterans cemetery charged with embezzlement

Gruno

The Mississippi Office of the State Auditor on Monday arrested the former director of the State Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Newton on embezzlement charges.

Henry Gruno was presented a $29,818 demand letter when he was arrested, according to a press release by the auditor’s office. This amount includes interest and investigative expenses.

The office is accusing Gruno of using a credit card and a fuel card to embezzle money from Mississippi Veterans Affairs.

The office is alleging that he used a Mississippi Veterans Affairs credit card to buy items such as barbecue supplies and toys. The office also alleges that he used a fuel card to make purchases far from the cemetery and on days when grounds equipment was not operated. Investigators identified a total of about $14,000 embezzled from January 2016 to January 2019, according to the press release.

The auditor’s office started to investigate the case when Mississippi Veterans Affairs staff began to suspect embezzlement and submitted a complaint, according to the news release.

Gruno surrendered to special agents at the Newton County Jail, and his bond amount will be set by the court, according to the auditor’s office. If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison and $5,000 in fines.

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