Stephanie Parsons mug

Stephanie Parsons, via St. John

A 49-year-old woman from Gulfport, Mississippi, embezzled more than $600,000 from a hotel she formerly managed in St. John the Baptist Parish, authorities alleged Tuesday.

Stephanie Parsons was arrested April 9 on counts of money laundering, engaging in a felony transaction involving proceeds of a criminal act, computer fraud, embezzlement and false accounting, according to the St. John Sheriff’s Office.

The agency said it received a complaint from the unidentified hotel in December 2016 that it had been victimized by Parsons, who worked there as general manager.

An internal audit revealed multiple instances of cash being spent on unapproved purchases, unauthorized adjustments to guest room rates, and payroll fraud, among other things, the Sheriff’s Office said. The hotel fired Parsons, and the Sheriff’s Office said it also had determined that she had pocketed cash deposits.

She also allegedly submitted invoices to a company providing temporary staff to the hotel that billed for work that hadn’t actually been performed by the temporary employees, resulting in inflated payroll checks which she then deposited into her personal bank accounts.

The Sheriff’s Office accused her of altering or falsifying deposit and financial records to conceal her trail.

The Sheriff’s Office calculated that Parsons’ alleged actions cost the hotel more than $600,000.

Investigators obtained a warrant to arrest Parsons, whose bail was set at $110,000. She was out of custody that same day, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Parsons faces years in prison if she is convicted of the accusations. Attempts to contact her weren’t immediately successful.


Follow Ramon Antonio Vargas on Twitter, @RVargasAdvocate.