The mystery began last week when a group of Simpson County work detail inmates were tasked with clearing a site where a new Boys and Girls Club would be built.
Simpson County Judge Jim Henderson said that during the cleanup they found a container with money in it.
Instead of turning in the money to the police, the sheriff's department says the county worker in charge of the work detail drove the inmates around town allowing them to spend some of the money in local stores.
The sheriff's department has recovered quite a bit of cash that was in various locations and returned the merchandise to the stores in exchange for the money.
The county employee was fired for his actions and could face prosecution along with the inmates when charges are filed to the grand jury.