For Immediate Release
March 13, 2009
For More Information Contact
Lisa Shoemaker - (601) 576-2645 or (601) 613-8518
Former Lauderdale County Employee Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement and is Sentenced to Serve Three Years
Jackson, Miss. – In February 2009, Kenneth Lanier pled guilty to embezzlement and to an unrelated burglary charge following an investigation by the State Auditor’s Office. He was sentenced to serve three years as a habitual criminal and was ordered to pay restitution of the $15,241.67, total principal amount embezzled.
In August 2008, State Auditor Stacey Pickering announced the arrest of Kenneth Lanier of Meridian following an indictment for embezzlement. Lanier facilitated a conspiracy to embezzle funds from Lauderdale County through the unauthorized obtainment and use of county Fuelman cards. Total loss was $21,272.86 representing $15,241.67 in embezzled funds; $609.67 in interest; and $5,421.52 in investigative expenses. Lanier was employed by the Lauderdale County Road Department from July 20, 2006 through October 25, 2006.
The Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office assisted the State Auditor’s Office in working this case. “This was a great joint effort between the State Auditor’s Office and Lauderdale County,” said State Auditor Stacey Pickering. “I am pleased this case has come to a conclusion and that the Court has seen fit to sentence Lanier to serve three years for his actions.”
Elected as Mississippi’s State Auditor in 2007, Stacey Pickering (R) has recovered more than $1.8 million in embezzled, misspent or misappropriated funds. He is a seventh generation Mississippian from Jones County.
While serving as a State Senator from 2004-2007 he was recognized by the Mississippi Association of Realtors as Legislator of the Year and is credited for co-authorizing legislation allowing Mississippi to end law suit abuse. He was named by the American Legislative Exchange Council to the national policy task forces on Transportation and Homeland Security, and founded and was co-chairman of the Miss. Legislative Sportsman’s Caucus. Throughout his political career, Pickering has made tremendous strides in creating more accountability and transparency in government and continues to promote fiscal responsibility and the need for more efficiency and productivity in government. For more information on Stacey Pickering, visit www.osa.ms.gov/auditors-bio.htm.