Two Mississippi Businessmen Charged With Bribery of Former Corrections Commissioner

RELEASED ON FRIDAY, AUGUST 21, 2015

United States Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Mississippi

Jackson, Miss – Irb Benjamin, 69, of Madison, and Sam Waggoner, 61, of Carthage, were charged today with paying bribes and kickbacks to former Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner (MDOC) Christopher B. Epps in exchange for receiving contracts involving the MDOC and its operations, announced Acting United States Attorney Harold Brittain, FBI Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Donald Alway, IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Jerome McDuffie, U.S. Postal Inspector Robert Wemyss, and Mississippi State Auditor Stacey Pickering.
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State Auditor Arrests and Issues Demand Against Former Gunnison Town Clerk

Jackson, Miss –State Auditor Special Agents arrested former Town Clerk of Gunnison, Marquita Payne. Payne was also served with a demand today totaling $70, 392.66.
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State Auditor Makes Arrest and Issues Demand for Two Hundred Thousand Dollars

Jackson, Miss –State Auditor Special Agents arrested former Administrative Assistant of Meridian Community College, Sandra Gail Young, after a Lauderdale County Grand Jury indicted Young on embezzlement charges. Young was also served with a demand in the amount of $202,919.72. This amount represents funds misappropriated by Young during the time period of August 2008 through February of 2015.
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State Auditor Stacey Pickering Returns Funds to Warren County

JACKSON – The State Auditor’s Office has returned a check for $279,112.82 to the taxpayers of Warren County today. These funds were recovered as part of the investigation of former Warren County Circuit Clerk Shelly Ashley-Palmertree.
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State Auditor Issues Demands Against Neshoba County Employees Totaling More Than $1.3 Million Dollars

JACKSON- State Auditor Stacey Pickering announced today Tammy Gomillion, Neshoba County Payroll Clerk; Julie Faye Russell, Neshoba County Purchasing Clerk; and, Jill Watkins, Neshoba County Comptroller; were issued demands totaling more than $1.3 million dollars.
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JUDGE SIGNS FINAL JUDGMENT AGAINST PALMERTREE’S BOND

JACKSON, MS – Hinds County Chancery Court Judge Dewayne Thomas ruled in favor of the Office of the State Auditor today, ordering former Warren County Circuit Court Clerk Shelly Ashley Palmertree’s bonding company, Western Surety, to pay $300,000 to the taxpayers of Warren County.
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State Auditor Makes Major Arrests in Alcorn County Including Sheriff

JACKSON- State Auditor Stacey Pickering announced today the arrest of Alcorn County Sheriff Charles Rinehart, Teddy Null and Pamela Denise Null, Owners of Cars for Less, following a 10 count indictment each for fraud and conspiracy by an Alcorn County Grand Jury.
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State Auditor Issues Demand Against Former Vicksburg High School Employee

JACKSON- State Auditor Stacey Pickering announced today his office has issued a demand in the amount of $11,756.89 to former Vicksburg High School Football Coach, Alonzo Stevens. The amount represents $6,237.39 Principal, $1,203.06 Interest, and $4,316.44 Investigative costs.
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State Auditor Issues Demand Against Former Tallahatchie Deputy Clerk

JACKSON-State Auditor Stacey Pickering announced today that Essie Adams, former Deputy Clerk with the Tallahatchie County Tax Collector’s Office, has been indicted by a Tallahatchie County Grand Jury on one count of embezzlement.
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State Auditor Issues Demand Against Former DPS Chief of Staff

JACKSON- State Auditor Stacey Pickering’s office has issued a demand in the amount of $5,967.42 to former Chief of Staff of the Department of Public Safety (DPS), Gale Mills.
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