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Former sheriff's department employee charged with embezzlement

A former employee of the Berrien County Sheriff's Department was arraigned Tuesday on one count of embezzlement $50,000 - $100,000 for allegedly stealing funds from payments to the tether program, according to the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney in Berrien County.

The prosecutor's office says JoAnn Roberts, 66, prepared tether collections for deposit with the county treasurer.

Roberts allegedly removed cash from tether collection envelopes and deposited the money into her personal account.

The prosecutor says Roberts replaced cash in those envelopes from tether payments received later, but over time was not able to continue to replace the money.

The money not accounted for totals $75,000.

According to the prosecutor's office, the case was investigated by the Van Buren County Sheriff's Department at the request of the Berrien County Sheriff.

Evidence suggests Roberts used the embezzled money for gambling purposes, according to the prosecutor's office.

Roberts began working at the sheriff's department in 1998 as a jail population manager. Duties related to the tether program were added later.

Roberts resigned from the sheriff's department last month, the prosecutor's office said.

Roberts' bond was set at $10,000.

Her next court date is December 9.

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