Former Mississippi Lottery Corporation Vice President Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced that Hope Bishop, former Vice President of Human Resources at the Mississippi Lottery Corporation, has pleaded guilty to embezzlement. Bishop was arrested in November of 2023.
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Former Mississippi State Hospital Employee Pleads Guilty

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced that Roger Lofton, former Support Care Professional at the Mississippi State Hospital, has pleaded guilty to fraudulent statements and representations. Rogers was arrested in January of 2024.
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Former Rankin County Tax Collector Clerk Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced that Brittney Phillips, a former clerk at the Rankin County Tax Collector’s Office, has pleaded guilty to embezzlement. Phillips was arrested in November of 2023.
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Lee County Woman Pleads Guilty to Theft of Government Funds

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced that Misty Burgess, Plantersville resident, has pleaded guilty to one count of Theft of Government Funds. Burgess pled guilty in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi.
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Former High School Financial Secretary Pleads Guilty of Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced that Dana Walker, former H.W. Byers High School Financial Secretary, pleaded guilty to embezzlement. Walker was initially arrested in February of 2022 by the Marshall County School District Police. The case was then turned over to the Office of the State Auditor for further investigation.
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Auditor’s Office Announces Operation Payback and Secures First Indictment

JACKSON – Today State Auditor Shad White announced his office has been conducting a detailed investigation into unemployment compensation fraud called Operation Payback and has secured their first indictment associated with the operation.
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Auditor Arrests Couple Accused of Receiving Fraudulent Unemployment Benefits

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Brandon Williams and Miranda Trulove for conspiracy to defraud the State of Mississippi to obtain illegal unemployment benefits from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES) while Williams was incarcerated and therefore ineligible to receive unemployment benefits.
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Auditor’s Office Releases Report on Benefits of an Inspector General in Governor’s Office

JACKSON, Miss. – Mississippi should consider funding an Inspector General (IG) for the Governor’s office according to a new report from State Auditor Shad White.
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State Auditor Employee Receives Highest CPA Exam Score in Mississippi

JACKSON, Miss. – Mississippi State Auditor Shad White is proud to announce that Abney Brewer, an employee in the state agency audit division of the Office of the State Auditor, has received the highest cumulative score in the state of Mississippi on the 2023 CPA exam.
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Former Mayor of Beulah Guilty of Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced that Bertha Thomas, the former Mayor of Beulah, has pled guilty to Embezzlement. Bertha was arrested by agents in February of 2024 and served with a $12,573.42 demand letter.
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Auditor Arrests Woman Accused of Fraudulently Receiving Unemployment Benefits

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Sharccara McNair for submitting fraudulent certifications to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES). She was issued a demand letter upon her arrest for $31,763.85.
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Former Simpson County Justice Court Deputy Clerk Arrested

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Effie Ramsey, former Simpson County Justice Court Deputy Clerk, for embezzlement and alteration of records. Ramsey is accused of embezzling funds collected from fines and pocketing the money for herself. She was served with a $1,348.05 demand letter at the time of her arrest.
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Former Lawrence County Tax Collector Clerk Guilty of Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced former Deputy Clerk of the Lawrence County Tax Collector’s Office Hollie Summers pled guilty to embezzlement. Summers was arrested by agents in November of 2023.
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Former Ellisville Deputy City Clerk Guilty of Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced former Ellisville Deputy City Clerk Emerald Wuertz has pled guilty to Embezzlement. Wuertz was arrested by agents in September of 2023 and served with a $41,246.20 demand letter.
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Three Arrested in Mississippi for Their Involvement in an Organized Fraud Enterprise

JACKSON, Miss. – Yesterday State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Christy Gomez, Larry Hodge, and Michael Norman for their involvement in an organized fraud enterprise. Gomez is accused of conducting or managing a fraud enterprise, in which she, Hodge, and Norman are alleged to have fraudulently received proceeds between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2022, from the Rental Assistance for Mississippians Program (RAMP) at the Mississippi Home Corporation and the Mississippi Department of Employment Security. Gomez was served with a $108,851.33 demand letter at the time of her arrest. Larry Hodge was served with a $26,565.70 demand letter at the time of his arrest.
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U.S. House Ways and Means Offers Federal TANF Reform Package After Mississippi Scandal

JACKSON, Miss. – Federal lawmakers and leaders of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee last week introduced seven new pieces of legislation in Congress to reform Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF, or more commonly “welfare”).
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Former Holmes County Water and Soil Conservation District Secretary Guilty of Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced former District Secretary for the Holmes County Water and Soil Conservation District Melissa Upchurch has pled guilty to Embezzlement. Upchurch was arrested by agents in June 2023 and was served with a $48,160.08 demand letter.
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Mississippi School Administrative Spending Continues to Climb

JACKSON, Miss. – Mississippi continues to prioritize spending on administration over spending inside the classroom according to a new report released today by State Auditor Shad White.
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Former Mayor of Beulah Arrested for Three Counts of Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Bertha Thomas, the former Mayor of Beulah, on three counts of embezzlement. Thomas is accused of embezzling tax disbursements issued to the town by the Bolivar County Tax Collector. She was served with a $12,573.42 demand letter at the time of her arrest.
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State Auditor Shad White’s Comments on Conviction of Jeffery O’Neal

“My office has recovered more misspent money for the taxpayers in the last five years than in any other five-year period, and the credit goes to investigators and prosecutors for closing out cases like this.”
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City of Bolton Town Clerk Arrested for Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Shelia Williams for embezzlement. Williams is accused of embezzling cash payments from the City of Bolton’s water department. She was served with a $35,882.59 demand letter at the time of her arrest.
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Former Itawamba Community College Honor Society Advisor Arrested for Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Robin Lowe. Lowe was the former advisor for the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) chapter, which is a national honor society at the Itawamba Community College. She is charged with embezzlement.
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State Auditor Counter-Sues Favre for TANF Funds

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White’s office counter-sued Brett Favre for hundreds of thousands of welfare dollars. Last February, Favre sued White for defamation for truthful statements Auditor White made describing Mississippi’s large welfare fraud scandal. Auditor White’s attorneys filed a counter-claim today in the same defamation suit, demanding Favre pay back Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds with interest.
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Former Marks City Clerk Arrested

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced the arrest of Pamela McNutt. McNutt is the former City Clerk for the City of Marks. She is accused of embezzling payments made to the city’s water and sewage, court fines, and privileged license payments from November 2017 to April 2021. McNutt was served with a $282,714.58 demand letter at the time of her arrest.
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Former Gautier Police Officer Guilty of Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced former Gautier Police Officer Eric Maye has pled guilty to Embezzlement. Maye was arrested by agents in January of 2023 and served with a $1,433.43 demand letter.
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Former Mississippi State Hospital Employee Arrested

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced the arrest of Roger Lofton. Lofton was a Support Care Professional at the Mississippi State Hospital. He is accused of falsifying his timesheets. Lofton was served with a $2,671.75 demand letter.
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Auditor White Responds to Fitch Statement on Favre Case

This afternoon attorneys from the Attorney General’s office informed Auditor White that her lawyers would not be representing Auditor White in two defamation cases (the Favre litigation and the James Thomas litigation) because of Auditor White’s upcoming book Mississippi Swindle and the fact that “the book call[s] into question the integrity of the Attorney General and her office.” As the Attorney General noted, Auditor White’s statements in the defamation cases were made “about investigations by [the Auditor’s office],” so the Auditor’s office will simply use in-house counsel on these cases now that the Attorney General has withdrawn.
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State Auditor’s Office Releases Hinds County Audit

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced the completion of the 2020 Hinds County Routine Annual Financial Audit.
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Former Newton County Dispatcher Guilty of Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced that Shannon Taylor, former Newton County Emergency Services Dispatcher, pled guilty to embezzlement. Taylor was indicted and arrested in September of 2023.
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State Auditor Announces Whistleblower Reward Bill and Other Legislative Priorities for Upcoming Session

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced his legislative priorities for the 2024 session. “In my time as Auditor, my team and I have successfully asked lawmakers to make it harder for a court to wipe someone’s record clean when they steal taxpayer money, give investigators more time to identify fraud under the statute of limitations, and require state agencies to report suspected fraud to us,” said Auditor White. “These were important changes in the law. Now we’re going to work together to make our laws even stronger in our fight against corruption.”
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Former Lawrence County Tax Collector Clerk Arrested for Embezzlement and Fraud

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Hollie Summers. Summers was a former Deputy Clerk for the Lawrence County Tax Collector’s Office. She is charged with Embezzlement and Computer Fraud.
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Audit Investigators Arrest Two in Separate Rankin County Cases

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested two suspects in Rankin County on separate embezzlement cases: Hope Bishop, the former Vice President of Human Resources at the Mississippi Lottery Corporation, and Brittney Phillips, a former clerk at the Rankin County Tax Collector’s Office.
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Government Can Save Money by Being Smarter with Vehicle Purchases

JACKSON, Miss. – State agencies should consider how many miles they plan to put on a vehicle and how often they will use the vehicle before buying it, according to a new report from State Auditor Shad White’s office. Mississippi state agencies and other government offices own thousands of vehicles purchased with taxpayer dollars, from law enforcement and fire rescue to the Department of Transportation. The new report takes a deep dive into vehicle spending and makes recommendations to government purchasing officers to save taxpayers money.
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Former Meridian Police Officer Guilty of Conspiracy

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced former Meridian Police Officer Tenesia Evans, who is guilty of Conspiracy to Defraud the Government, has been sentenced. Evans was indicted in January 2021 and pled guilty in October 2022.
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Congress Calls for National Welfare Investigation

JACKSON, Miss. – Following State Auditor Shad White’s testimony to Congress this summer about his office uncovering the Mississippi welfare scandal, the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee have called on the federal Government Accountability Office (GAO) to “conduct an investigation into the use of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) fund.”
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State Auditor White’s Statement on Appointment of Todd Gee as U.S. Attorney

JACKSON, Miss. – The United States Senate will vote this morning on the confirmation of Todd Gee as the new U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi. Gee is expected to be confirmed and will inherit the largest public fraud case in state history, Mississippi’s welfare scandal.
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Former Newton County Sheriff’s Office Dispatcher Arrested for Fraud

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced former Newton County Sheriff’s Office Dispatcher Shannon Taylor was arrested by special agents from his office. Taylor is charged with Embezzlement/Fraud in Public Office.
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Former Ellisville Deputy City Clerk Arrested for Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Emerald Wuertz. Wuertz is the former Deputy City Clerk for Ellisville. She is charged with embezzlement.
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Report Shows Which College Majors are Critical for State’s Economy

New study from State Auditor’s Office argues for spending more on college majors likely to stay in the state and earn a good living

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White released a report today arguing for changing the way taxpayer money is spent at Mississippi’s public universities. The report highlights the degree programs whose graduates are most likely to stay in Mississippi or land a good-paying job versus the ones who are not.
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State Auditor Investigation Leads to $5 Million Recovery

Payment from Management & Training Corporation, a private prison company, marks one of the largest civil recoveries in the history of the Mississippi Auditor’s Office

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced that Management & Training Corporation (MTC), a private prison company, has tendered over $5.125 million back to the state.
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Former Alcorn Consolidated School District Superintendent Pleads Guilty

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced former school superintendent Bill Brand has pleaded guilty. Brand was indicted and arrested in August of 2021 for False Representations to Defraud the Government. Brand falsified student attendance records for October and November of 2020. Brand used a school district employee’s Student Management Account without their knowledge to falsify the records to the Mississippi Department of Education. The falsification of records was an attempt to increase the funding provided by the state to the school district.
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Auditor Releases Report on Historic Unemployment Fraud

JACKSON, Miss. – A new report released today by State Auditor Shad White shows over $590 million in unemployment compensation was misspent in Mississippi alone during the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Department of Justice has called the unemployment fraud around the nation during COVID “unprecedented.” Today’s report also highlights the Office of the State Auditor’s use of advanced data analytics tools such as geospatial and multi-datapoint analysis to investigate widespread fraud.
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Former Customer Service Representative for City of Gautier Utility Department Arrested for Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced that special agents from his office arrested Alicia Landaverde. Landaverde was a Customer Service Representative for the City of Gautier Utility Department. She is charged with Embezzlement and False Statements.
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Alcorn County Tax Collector Pleads Guilty

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced that Former Alcorn County Tax Collector Larry Ross pled guilty to False Representations to Defraud the Government. The case was prosecuted Friday in Judge Funderburk’s courtroom, where Ross accepted his plea agreement.
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Auditor Releases Report on Rural Healthcare Scholarship Programs

JACKSON, Miss. – A new report released today by State Auditor Shad White shows two programs meant to address Mississippi’s healthcare shortage are working but need improved policies. Today’s report also shows how these programs—the Mississippi Rural Physicians and Dentists Scholarship Programs—have operated over time and how many providers have been placed in needy areas.
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Auditor Releases Annual Report on Money Recovered for Taxpayers

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White announced in today’s Audit Exceptions Report for Fiscal Year 2023 that the office recovered over $1.99 million in taxpayer funds and returned them to the deserving entities. Over the last 5 years, State Auditor Shad White’s office has both demanded and recovered more taxpayer money than in any other five-year period in history.
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Former Clarksdale Public Utilities Lead Cashier Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Shoral Bounds has pleaded guilty to Embezzlement. Bounds, a former lead cashier for Clarksdale Public Utilities, was indicted and arrested for embezzlement in June of 2022. The guilty plea was recorded today in Judge Hunter Nowell’s courtroom.
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State Auditor Shad White Testifies to US House Ways & Means Committee on Welfare Case

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White addressed the US House Ways & Means Subcommittee on Work and Welfare on the massive misappropriation of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds uncovered by his office. White presented the case to lawmakers in Washington, DC, and emphasized the need for stronger safeguards to prevent such fraud in the future.
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Former Holmes County Water and Soil Conservation District Secretary Arrested for Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced special agents from his office have arrested Melissa Upchurch. Upchurch is the former District Secretary for the Holmes County Water and Soil Conservation District. She is charged with embezzlement.
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Report Shows Mississippi Public Universities Spend Millions on DEI

JACKSON, Miss. – A new report released today by State Auditor Shad White shows Mississippi taxpayers how much public universities are spending on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives.
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State Auditor​ Shad White​’s Statement Regarding the Sentencing of Two Individuals for COVID Relief Fraud

“As the public saw from our audits, Mississippi lost more than $400 million to unemployment compensation fraud during the pandemic. This was a massive sum, and some of the perpetrators are outside the United States. I’m grateful for the chance to work with our federal partners to hold the fraudsters who are here accountable. We will continue our work on this tragic loss of taxpayer money to get as much money back as possible.”
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Analysis of Jackson Audits Shows Unpaid Water Bills and Dangerous Financial Situation

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White’s office released an analysis of the audits of the City of Jackson from the last two decades. The analysis shows a concerning financial situation for the city and its residents.
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Farmington City Clerk Arrested for Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced that Debora Jackson has surrendered herself to special agents from his office. Jackson is the clerk for the city of Farmington. She is charged with embezzlement and false entries.
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Statute of Limitations on Bribery Increased

JACKSON, Miss. – Last week Governor Tate Reeves signed HB 405, a key piece of State Auditor Shad White’s 2023 legislative agenda. The new law increases the statute of limitations on bribery from three years to five years.
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State Auditor Shad White’s Statement on Theodore “Teddy” DiBiase Jr. Indictment

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White issued the following statement after Theodore DiBiase Jr. was indicted today in federal court:
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Former Hancock County Coroner Indicted on Multiple Charges

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced former Hancock County Coroner James Faulk has been indicted on multiple charges. The charges are one count of embezzlement, three counts of false representations to defraud the government, and one count of alteration of records. Faulk has also been issued a demand letter totaling $22,031.26.
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Stephanie Churchill Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Stephanie Churchill has pleaded guilty to embezzlement in Benton County Circuit Court. Churchill, a former Town Clerk of Hickory Flat, was indicted and arrested for embezzlement in April of 2022. The guilty plea was recorded in Judge J. Kelley Luther’s courtroom.
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Brett DiBiase Pleads Guilty in Federal Court

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White issued the following statement after Brett DiBiase entered a guilty plea in federal court:
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Former Jackson County Employee Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Jonathan Smith, a former employee of Jackson County, has been convicted of two counts of embezzlement. The case was prosecuted by District Attorney Angel McIlrath’s office in the courtroom of Judge Kathy King Jackson.
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Auditor’s Statement on Favre Lawsuit

The Office of State Auditor Shad White has issued the following statement:

“Everything Auditor White has said about this case is true and is backed by years of audit work by the professionals at the Office of the State Auditor. It’s mind-boggling that Mr. Favre wants to have a trial about that question. Mr. Favre has called Auditor White and his team liars despite repaying some of the money our office demanded from him. He’s also claimed the auditors are liars despite clear documentary evidence showing he benefitted from misspent funds. Instead of paying New York litigators to try this case, he’d be better off fully repaying the amount of welfare funds he owes the state.” 

Two Plead Guilty in Coahoma County Community College Fraud

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced former Coahoma Community College employees Gwendolyn Jefferson and Stacie Neal were each sentenced to serve five years in prison. Both women pleaded guilty to conspiracy and embezzlement. Neal also pleaded guilty to making fraudulent statements. Jefferson and Neal were both arrested in June 2019. The guilty pleas were recorded in Judge Charles E. Webster’s courtroom today.
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Former City of Jackson Constituent Services Manager Pleads Guilty

City Loses $54,000 in Keyshia Sanders’s Fraud Scheme

JACKSON, Miss. –State Auditor Shad White issued the following statement:
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Auditor White Hosts Panel Discussion on the Importance of Present Fathers

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White hosted a panel discussion on the positive impact present fathers have on their children. The panel was held at Germantown High School and comes after Auditor White issued an August 2022 report showing the societal and economic costs of fatherlessness in Mississippi.
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Toni Johnson is Guilty

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced former Hinds County Election Commissioner Toni Johnson pled guilty to 2 counts of Embezzlement and 1 count of False Representation & Statements to Defraud the Government. Special Agents from the Auditor’s Office arrested Johnson in February of 2022. The guilty plea was recorded in Judge Dickinson’s courtroom on Monday evening.
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Auditor’s Office Announces Public Innovations and Efficiencies Award

Award recognizes high-performing government offices

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White announced his office has opened the 2023 Mississippi Public Innovations and Efficiencies (PIE) Award application. The PIE Award was created last year to recognize government offices for the ways they are cutting costs, reducing waste, or improving efficiency in the workplace.
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Auditor’s Report Shows State Agencies Pay High Cost of Inflation

JACKSON, Miss. – From fuel and electricity to food and asphalt, taxpayers are paying more for almost everything government agencies in Mississippi purchase. This finding comes from a report released today by State Auditor Shad White’s office showing some of the costs taxpayers will bear after inflation increased the cost of items government agencies purchase. The purpose of this report is to alert policymakers to the cost of inflation on government spending and to help public officials more effectively plan future budgets by anticipating these costs.
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Former Yalobusha General Hospital Clerk Arrested for Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Melissa Cook in Yalobusha County. Cook, a former accounts receivable clerk, was indicted by a local grand jury for embezzlement from Yalobusha General Hospital—a publicly owned hospital where she was previously employed. Special Agents delivered a $102,089.74 demand letter to Cook upon her arrest. The demand amount includes interest and investigative expenses.
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Former Grenada County Deputy Clerk Pleads Guilty to Grand Larceny

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced former Grenada County Deputy Chancery Clerk Vicky Blaylock has pleaded guilty to grand larceny. A demand letter of $16,894.49 was served to her. The demand amount includes credit for partial payments, interest, and investigative expenses.
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Annual Audit of Federal Funds Shows Misspent Stimulus Money

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White’s team discovered millions of questioned costs according to their newly released Single Audit of federal funds flowing through Mississippi. The audit includes federal funds spent by state agencies from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021. During this time, many state agencies were drawing down federal stimulus dollars from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF).
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Former Jackson County Employee Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Charles Smith, a former employee of Jackson County, has been convicted of two counts of embezzlement. The case was prosecuted by District Attorney Angel McIlrath’s office in the courtroom of Judge Robert Krebs. The guilty plea and sentencing were recorded earlier this month.
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Second Hinds County Election Commission Co-Conspirator Pleads Guilty

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced that Cedric Cornelius has pleaded guilty to 3 counts of Fraudulent Writing to Defraud the Government, 2 counts of False Statements, 1 count of Conspiracy, and 1 count of Bribery of a Public Official in connection with the ongoing Hinds County Election Commission case.
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City of Cleveland Wins State Auditor’s Third PIE Award

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced the City of Cleveland as the third winner of the Mississippi Public Innovations and Efficiencies (PIE) Award. The PIE award is given to government offices for cutting costs, reducing waste, and improving efficiency in the workplace.
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State Auditor Demands Over $1.9 Million from Private Prison Operator

Management & Training Corporation failed to meet staffing obligations, putting staff and inmates at risk

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced that Special Agents from his office have served Management & Training Corporation (MTC) with a civil demand totaling nearly $2 million after the company failed to follow the terms of its contract to operate the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) facility in Marshall County. The total demand amount—$1,991,774.10—includes interest and investigative costs.
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Two Arrested for Separate Embezzlement Schemes in Marshall County

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have served two individuals in Marshall County with demand letters and indictments after local grand jury proceedings. Dana Walker, a former high school secretary, and Amanda McDonald, a former library director, are both accused of embezzlement in separate cases. Walker was served with a $53,594.68 demand letter, and McDonald was served with an $8,174.86 demand letter. Interest and recovery costs are included in the demand amounts.
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Delta Woman Given Maximum Prison Sentence for Fraud Conviction

Carol Jackson stole money meant for feeding needy children

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Carol Jackson has been given the maximum prison sentence allowed by state law after she admitted to committing fraud and diverting over $40,000 away from needy children. The sentencing order was recorded in Judge W. Ashley Hines’s courtroom earlier this week.
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Former Director of Tunica County Airport Arrested for Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced former Director of the Tunica County Airport Eric Konupka has been arrested after being investigated by Special Agents from the Auditor’s office. Konupka was indicted for embezzlement by a local grand jury. He was also issued a demand letter showing he owes over $9,000 to Tunica County taxpayers.
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John Davis Pleads Guilty in Welfare Scandal

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White and Hinds County District Attorney Jody Owens announced former Director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services John Davis has pleaded guilty to his role in Mississippi’s largest public fraud scheme. Davis has also agreed to fully cooperate with and assist law enforcement authorities in the prosecution of any and all other criminal defendants.
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Duo Indicted for Embezzlement in Jackson County

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Charles Smith and Jonathan Smith have been indicted for embezzlement by a grand jury in Jackson County.
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Audit Shows Millions of Dollars in Potential Savings in 3 School Districts

JACKSON, Miss. – Three school districts in Mississippi could save taxpayers millions annually, according to three new performance audits released by State Auditor Shad White’s office. This project was conducted by data analytics firm GlimpseK12 and was funded by the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor.
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Auditor Responds to Federal Prosecutors’ Statement on Medicaid Case

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White has issued the following statement:

“Last year, we released an audit that compared the income people claimed when they applied to be on Medicaid versus what they made according to their state income tax return. I pointed out at the time that there were ‘two individuals who own multi-million dollar homes and declared high incomes on their most recent tax returns, but also receive Medicaid benefits.
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Hinds County Election Commission Co-conspirator Pleads Guilty

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced that Sudie Jones-Teague has pleaded guilty to conspiracy, fraud, and bribery charges in connection with the ongoing Hinds County Election Commission case.
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Report Shows Absent Fathers Cost Taxpayers Millions

JACKSON, Miss. – A new report released today by State Auditor Shad White shows Mississippi taxpayers will see an additional $700 million of current and future spending obligations as a result of fatherlessness.
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Roland Graham is Guilty of Embezzlement, Sentenced as Habitual Offender

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Roland Graham pleaded guilty to embezzlement and conspiracy charges in Jones County earlier this week. A guilty plea and sentencing order for his co-conspirator, Larry Barnes, were recorded earlier this year in January. Both cases were prosecuted by the Jones County District Attorney’s office in Judge Dal Williamson’s courtroom.
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Juanyana Holloway Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Juanyana Holloway has pleaded guilty to embezzlement in Lamar County. She is a former deputy municipal clerk in the Town of Sumrall. District Attorney Hal Kittrell’s office prosecuted the case in Judge Prentiss Harrell’s courtroom.
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Report Shows Taxpayer Cost of Unused State-Issued Cell Phones

JACKSON, Miss. – Taxpayers could save nearly $350,000 a year if state-issued cell phones with little to no usage were turned off. This finding comes from a report issued by State Auditor Shad White’s office today.
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Two Former City of Natchez Employees Indicted for Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Servia Fortenberry and Sevetrius Dillon were indicted for embezzlement. Special agents separately delivered demand letters to both individuals.
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Three Arrested for Fraud in Yalobusha County

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced former Coffeeville School District Superintendent Vivian Robinson and co-conspirators Melissa Nance and Tammy Briggs have been arrested on charges of fraudulent statements/representations, conspiracy, and obtaining an object of value with intent to defraud.
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Civil Demands Issued in Holmes County School District Audit

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced that former Holmes County Consolidated School District Superintendent James Henderson, former Chief Financial Officer Cheryl Peoples, and four former school board members (Anthony Anderson, Louise Winters, April Jones, and Elder Dean) were issued demand letters resulting from audit findings released in December 2020.
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State Auditor’s Office Releases Cybersecurity Report

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White’s office released a cybersecurity report regarding students’ ability to access potentially harmful and explicit materials online.
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Carol Jackson Pleads Guilty to Stealing Money from Needy School Children

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced that Carol Jackson, former Executive Director of the non-profit On Track, has pleaded guilty to fraud in Sunflower County. District Attorney Dewayne Richardson’s Office prosecuted the case.
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Former MDOC Probation Officer Dendrick Hurd is Guilty of Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White announced today that Dendrick Hurd, a former Mississippi Department of Correction (MDOC) probation officer, pled guilty to 4 counts of embezzlement. The case was prosecuted by District Attorney Lin Carter’s office in Judge Helfrich’s courtroom.
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Former Coahoma County Public Utilities Cashier Arrested for Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced special agents from his office have arrested the former lead cashier for the Clarksdale Public Utilities Shoral Bounds. She was indicted for embezzlement by a Coahoma County grand jury. A $182,771.97 demand letter was presented to her upon arrest. The demand letter includes interest and investigative expenses.
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State Auditor’s Report Shows Jackson Homicides Costs Taxpayers Millions

JACKSON, Miss. – Mississippi could save lives and money by increasing funding for law enforcement according to a new report released today by State Auditor Shad White.
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Auditor White Announces Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College as Second PIE Award Winner

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (MGCCC) and their Work4College Scholarship program as the second Mississippi Public Innovations and Efficiencies (PIE) Award winner of the year. The PIE award is given to government offices by the Office of the State Auditor for innovative uses of taxpayer dollars.
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State Auditor Issues Civil Demand on Former DHS Deputy Director

JACKSON, Miss. – Today the Office of State Auditor Shad White served a civil demand for $3,648,557.60 on former Deputy Director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services (DHS) Jacob Black. The demand requires Black to repay misspent Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (commonly called “welfare”) money.
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Two More Arrested in Connection with Hinds County Election Commission Case

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced special agents from his office have arrested Undare Kidd and Trafonda Kidd. Both have been indicted for conspiracy and fraud by a local grand jury. A $49,653.52 demand letter was presented to both individuals upon arrest.
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State Auditor Comments on Civil Action in DHS Case

Comments on Civil Action in DHS Case

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White said, “When we issued our civil demands related to the DHS scandal last fall and then turned those demands over to the Attorney General’s Office for enforcement, we knew this day would eventually come. I applaud the team filing this suit and am grateful the state is taking another step toward justice for the taxpayers. We will continue to work alongside our federal partners—who have been given access to all our evidence for more than two years—to make sure the case is fully investigated.”

Henry Gruno is Guilty of Embezzling from Veterans Cemetery

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Henry Gruno has been convicted of embezzlement in Newton County Circuit Court. The case was prosecuted by District Attorney Steven Kilgore’s office in Judge Caleb May’s courtroom. The guilty plea and sentencing were recorded last month.
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Governor Tate Reeves Signs DHS Fraud Bill into Law

JACKSON, Miss. – Governor Tate Reeves has signed State Auditor Shad White’s bill that now requires Mississippi Department of Human Services (DHS) investigators to report any fraud at DHS to the State Auditor’s office.
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State Auditor Shad White Responds to Guilty Plea of Nancy and Zach New in State Case

JACKSON, Miss. – Today Nancy and Zach New pleaded guilty to the largest public fraud scheme in state history. I will avoid extensive commentary because there is still a gag order in one case, but as I said today, I’m proud of the work my investigators and the prosecutors did to get us here.
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Auditor White Announces Vicksburg Warren School District as First PIE Award Winner

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White honored the Vicksburg Warren School District (VWSD) as the first-ever Mississippi Public Innovations and Efficiencies (PIE) Award winner. To win the award, the school district demonstrated successful use of computer software meant to keep its students safe and save public money.
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Former Town Clerk for Hickory Flat Arrested for Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Stephanie Churchill of Benton County. Churchill, the former Town Clerk of Hickory Flat, was indicted for embezzlement by a local grand jury. A $104,256.92 demand letter was presented to Churchill upon her arrest. The demand amount includes interest and investigative expenses.
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New Report from Auditor’s Office Shows Fifty Percent of College Grads Not Working in Mississippi Three Years Later

JACKSON, Miss. – As of 2020, only half of all Mississippi’s public university graduates worked in the state three years after leaving college. Further, according to a report released today by State Auditor Shad White’s office, data trends show a growing number of college graduates choose to leave Mississippi as time passes. If the trends continue without being addressed, Mississippi’s “brain drain” is likely to worsen even as the state spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year on its public universities.
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Survey Shows Concern over Pharmacy Benefit Manager Practices

Independent pharmacists worry about their ability to survive

JACKSON, Miss. – Many local pharmacists in Mississippi are concerned about their ability to survive and serve their communities as large pharmacy benefit management (PBM) companies increase the cost of filling prescriptions. This conclusion is based on a survey of independent pharmacists conducted by State Auditor Shad White’s office.
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Former Rankin County Deputy Tax Collector Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced that Tiffany Loftin, a former Rankin County Deputy Tax Collector, pleaded guilty to embezzlement in Rankin County Circuit Court. The case was prosecuted by District Attorney John K. “Bubba” Bramlett’s office in Judge Brad Mills’s courtroom. The guilty plea and sentencing were recorded on March 7th.
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Welcome Center Employee Arrested in Itawamba County

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Mississippi Welcome Center supervisor Ann Miller after she was indicted for embezzlement and fraud by an Itawamba County grand jury. A $1,937.53 demand letter was presented to her upon arrest. The demand amount includes interest and investigative expenses.
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State Auditor Announces “Stay in the ‘Sip” Fellowship to Combat Brain Drain

Millsaps honors accounting student will be inaugural fellow

JACKSON, Miss. –State Auditor Shad White announced his office has established the new “Stay in the ‘Sip Fellowship” in an effort to fight “brain drain” and attract talent to the Auditor’s office. The fellowship pays for college tuition, books, and fees of accounting students for up to three years. In return, the students agree to work at the Office of the State Auditor after graduation for a period of time. All accounting students at Mississippi colleges and universities are eligible to apply for the fellowship, which also includes a paid internship.
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Tony Macon is Guilty of Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Tony Macon, a former employee of Scott County, has been convicted of embezzlement in Scott County Circuit Court. The case was prosecuted by District Attorney Steven Kilgore in Judge Mark Duncan’s courtroom. The guilty plea and sentencing were recorded yesterday.
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Third Person Arrested in Hinds County Election Commission Scandal

Sudie Jones-Teague arrested, issued demand for nearly $150,000

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Sudie Jones-Teague after she was indicted on multiple charges by a Hinds County grand jury. Special Agents also delivered a demand letter to her showing she owes nearly $150,000 back to Hinds County taxpayers. The demand amount includes interest and investigative expenses. This arrest is part of a larger alleged scheme also involving Hinds County Election Commissioner Toni Johnson and businessman Cedric Cornelius, who were both arrested by Special Agents from the State Auditor’s office last week.
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Duo Arrested for Fraud, Embezzlement Conspiracy at Hinds County Election Commission

Election commissioner, business owner accused of embezzling over $200,000

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Hinds County Election Commissioner Toni Johnson and Hinds County resident Cedric Cornelius after both were indicted on multiple charges. Special Agents also delivered demand letters to them showing they collectively owe nearly $250,000 back to Hinds County taxpayers.
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Pair of Former Volunteer Fire Department Employees Guilty of Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. –Today State Auditor Shad White announced both Mark Hanna and Linda Mannon have been convicted of embezzlement in Marshall County Circuit Court. The case was prosecuted by District Attorney Ben Creekmore’s office in Judge Kent Smith’s court chambers. The guilty plea and sentencing were recorded last week.
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Former State Hospital Police Officer Arrested for Fraud, Extradited from Texas

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced former Mississippi State Hospital Police Department officer Roberto Williams has been arrested in Texas and extradited back to Mississippi after he was indicted for fraud by a Rankin County grand jury. Special Agents presented a $3,135.62 demand letter to Williams. The demand amount includes interest and investigative expenses.
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Kim Davis is Guilty of Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. –Today State Auditor Shad White announced Kim Davis has been convicted of embezzlement in Lawrence County Circuit Court. The case was prosecuted by District Attorney Hal Kittrells’s office in Judge Prentiss Harrell’s court chambers. The guilty plea and sentencing were recorded last week.
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Former Covington County Emergency Manager Arrested for Embezzlement, Fraud

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White announced today Special Agents from his office have arrested former Covington County Emergency Manager Gregory Sanford after he was indicted for fraud and embezzlement by a local grand jury. A $17,063.59 demand letter was presented to Sanford upon his arrest. The demand amount includes interest and investigative expenses.
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Alleged Catalytic Converter Thief Indicted in George County

Elijah Murrah is charged with stealing school district property

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White and George County School District Superintendent Wade Whitney, Jr. announced today Elijah Murrah has been indicted for grand larceny in George County. Special Agents from the State Auditor’s office assisted the George County School District Police Department in the investigation.
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Auditor’s Office Announces Public Innovations and Efficiencies Award

Award to recognize government offices that found creative ways to save money

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White announced his office has established the Mississippi Public Innovations and Efficiencies (PIE) Award to recognize government offices for the ways they cut costs, reduce waste, and improve efficiency in the workplace.
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Auditor’s Office Arrests Former Probation Officer in Forrest County

Dendrick Hurd indicted on additional embezzlement charges

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White announced today Special Agents from his office have arrested former Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) probation officer Dendrick Hurd again after he was indicted on two additional counts of embezzlement in Forrest County. Special Agents also issued an $8,667.50 demand letter to Hurd upon his arrest. The demand amount includes interest and investigative expenses.
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Jones County Supervisor Arrested for Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Jones County District 5 Supervisor Travares Comegys after he was indicted for embezzlement by a local grand jury. A $5,719.24 demand letter was presented to Comegys upon his arrest. The demand amount includes interest and investigative expenses.
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Deputy Clerk Arrested for Embezzlement in Lamar County

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have made an arrest in Lamar County. Juanyana Holloway, a former deputy municipal clerk in the Town of Sumrall, was arrested after being indicted for fraud, alteration of records, and embezzlement by a local grand jury. Special Agents presented a $28,686.09 demand letter to Holloway upon her arrest. The demand amount includes interest and investigative expenses.
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Auditor’s Statement on Demand Letters for Misspent Welfare Money

State Auditor Shad White has issued the following statement:

“A little over 30 days ago, my office issued demands on several individuals ordering them to repay misspent welfare money. As I said at the time, if any of those individuals failed to repay the money, the demands will be forwarded to the Attorney General’s Office, which is in charge of enforcing the demands in court. My team has now forwarded the unpaid demands to the AG’s office. My understanding is the Attorney General and the Department of Human Services have given authority to a private attorney to recoup the misspent money. We have been in contact with that attorney and will provide any information he needs.”

Auditor’s Office Makes Two Arrests in Separate Hinds County Cases

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have made two arrests in Hinds County. Former Hinds County employee Marketa Graham was arrested after being indicted for fraud. Special Agents also arrested Chris Smith, former Mississippi Board of Animal Health Director of Accounting and Finance, after he was indicted for embezzlement. Graham was issued a $9,661.44 demand letter upon her arrest. Chris Smith was previously issued a demand letter for $33,892.54.
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Auditor Arrests Former Rankin County Deputy Tax Collector for Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Tiffany Loftin, a former deputy tax collector in Rankin County. She was indicted for embezzlement by a local grand jury. An $11,519.73 demand letter – including interest and investigative expenses – was presented to her upon arrest.
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Auditor’s Office Arrests Former Bookkeeper, College Dean in Multimillion-Dollar Workforce Development Fraud Case

Auditor demands $2.3 million back from college, business owners

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Eureda “Edie” Washington and Joe Lowder have been indicted for defrauding the state’s Workforce Enhancement Training (WET) program. Special Agents separately delivered demand letters to Washington, Lowder, and two other individuals – Jennifer and David Schock – who do not face criminal charges. The Auditor’s office also issued demand letters to Itawamba Community College (ICC) for improperly approving WET program expenditures.
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Auditor’s Office Arrests former Volunteer Fire Department Chief for Embezzlement

Fire department secretary also arrested for alleged $30,000 embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced former Red Banks Volunteer Fire Department (RBVFD) Chief Mark Hanna and Linda Mannon, a former RBVFD secretary, have been arrested in Marshall County after they were both indicted for embezzlement. Special Agents presented both Hanna and Mannon with separate demand letters totaling over $50,000 – including interest and investigative expenses.
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Auditor Demands Repayment of Misspent Welfare Money

Multiple audits now confirm millions of dollars intended for the poor were spent illegally

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White’s office served demands for more than $77 million of misspent TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) money today. The individuals who signed off on the illegal spending, like former Department of Human Services (DHS) Executive Director John Davis, along with vendors who were paid those funds yet failed to do all the work required under their contracts, received these demands.
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Auditor’s Office Makes Arrest for COVID Stimulus Fraud

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Ethel Cain has been arrested in Bolivar County after she was indicted for fraud related to the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) “Back to Business” grant program. A $50,384.19 demand letter was presented to Cain upon arrest. The demand amount includes interest and investigative expenses.
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Auditor’s Office Makes Two Arrests in Separate Yalobusha County Cases

Demand letters show over $100,000 owed to county taxpayers

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested former Yalobusha County Sheriff William “Lance” Humphreys and former Yalobusha General Hospital employee Katherine Rotenberry Brown after both were indicted for separate crimes. Special Agents delivered a $10,867.30 demand letter to Humphreys and a $100,966.03 demand letter to Brown. Both amounts include interest and investigative expenses.
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Auditor’s Office Arrests Former Circuit Clerk of Stone County

Jeffrey O’Neal owes over $330,000 back to taxpayers

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested former Stone County Circuit Clerk Jeffrey O’Neal after he was indicted on four counts of embezzlement in Stone County. A $335,353.61 demand letter was presented to O’Neal when he was arrested. This amount includes interest and investigative expenses for money identified as embezzled and misused.
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Auditor’s Office Makes Arrest in Forrest County

Auditor White encourages potential victims to come forward

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White announced today Special Agents from his office have arrested Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) probation officer Dendrick Hurd after he was indicted on two counts of embezzlement in Forrest County. Investigators continue to identify potential victims of Hurd’s alleged scheme.
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Auditor’s Office Given High Marks in Peer Review

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White announced today his office has obtained the highest possible rating after being reviewed by the National State Auditors Association (NSAA). This “peer review” was conducted in late August by independent auditors from across the country. All audit reports issued by the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor from August 2020 to July 2021 were included in the review.
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Auditor Makes Arrest and Issues Demand Letter in Jones County

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Larry Barnes and presented a $4,788.89 demand letter to Roland Graham in Jones County. The demand amount includes investigative costs and interest.
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Auditor Arrests Woman Accused of Stealing from Needy Schoolchildren

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Carol Jackson in Sunflower County after she was indicted for fraud. She was issued a $109,124.59 demand letter upon her arrest. The demand amount includes interest and investigative expenses.
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Auditor Releases Annual Exceptions Report

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White announced in today’s Audit Exceptions Report for Fiscal Year 2021 that his office identified nearly 400% more stolen and misspent taxpayer money last year than it did the year before. This comes in addition to the $55.5 million a pharmacy benefit management company has agreed to pay the state after being investigated by the Auditor’s office. The State Auditor’s office also returned nearly $900,000 to taxpayers during the last fiscal year.
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Audit of Federal Money in Mississippi Released by State Auditor

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White announced the release of the yearly Single Audit of federal funds flowing through Mississippi state agencies this week. While many of the audit findings repeat previous findings from years of audits past, they also provide additional details about spending at some agencies, like the Mississippi Division of Medicaid.
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Auditor White Appoints New Leadership in Investigations Division

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White announced today that he has named Larry Ware as the new Director of Investigations and Debi Cox as the new Deputy Director of Investigations at the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor.
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Former Mayor of Moss Point, Wife Sentenced in Federal Court for Committing Fraud

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White made the following statement after Mario and Natasha King were sentenced in federal court for committing fraud:
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New Superseding Federal Indictments of Nancy New and Zachary New

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White made the following statement after new superseding federal indictments of Nancy New and Zachary New was unsealed:
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Brittany Ransom is Guilty of Fraud

JACKSON, Miss. –Today State Auditor Shad White announced Brittany Ransom has been convicted of fraud in Covington County Circuit Court. The case was prosecuted by District Attorney Chris Hennis’s office in Judge Stanley Sorey’s court chambers. The guilty plea and sentencing were recorded last week.
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Auditor White Releases Yearly Audit of State Agencies

Audit shows overwhelmed unemployment agency, other issues

JACKSON, Miss. – Over $117 million in improper unemployment payments were made by Mississippi’s Department of Employment Security (MDES) last year and during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. This finding and several others – including new fraud-related findings at the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) when it was under previous leadership – were released today in the latest annual audit issued by State Auditor Shad White’s office.
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AG Lynn Fitch, Auditor Shad White Announce $55.5 Million Settlement with Centene

Company pledges transparency reforms to protect taxpayers

Attorney General Lynn Fitch and Auditor Shad White reached a $55.5-million settlement with Centene, the largest Medicaid managed care organization in the United States. The settlement resolves allegations of overpayments as a part of Mississippi’s Medicaid program.

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Amanda Lewis is Guilty of Embezzlement

Former town clerk will repay over $100,000

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced the former Town Clerk of Roxie, Amanda Lewis, has been convicted of embezzlement in Franklin County Circuit Court. The case was prosecuted by District Attorney Shameca Collins’s office in Judge Debra Blackwell’s court chambers. The guilty plea and sentencing were recorded last week.
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Auditor’s Office Partners with School Districts to Cut Outside-the-Classroom Spending, Direct Education Money to Teachers and Students

JACKSON, Miss. – Mississippi public schools could eliminate ineffective outside-the-classroom spending to potentially redirect over $200 million to teacher salaries and classroom expenses each year, according to reports released this month by State Auditor Shad White. White’s office recently partnered with three school districts to find ways to improve how they operate. This pilot project was conducted with the help of the advanced data analytics firm GlimpseK12 and was funded by the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor.
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Auditor Arrests Two Biloxi Public Schools Employees for Fraud and Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Michael Ludlow and Mickey Bellande, Jr. after both were indicted for fraud and embezzlement. Both Ludlow and Bellande are former maintenance employees at the Biloxi Public School District. Demand letters were presented to both men upon arrest.
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School District Looks to Reduce Ineffective Spending With Help from State Auditor

Auditor’s office pays for data firm to examine Starkville Oktibbeha School District’s operations and expenditures

JACKSON, Miss. – A partnership with the State Auditor has helped the Starkville Oktibbeha School District (SOSD) identify ways it could spend more money inside its classrooms. A report released by the State Auditor Shad White’s office today shows the school district could save up to $5.3 million by eliminating ineffective annual spending.
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Audit Shows Opportunity to Eliminate Outside-the-Classroom Spending at Columbus Municipal School District

Auditor partners with school district, data analytics firm to show how district could spend more inside the classroom

JACKSON, Miss. – The Columbus Municipal School District (CMSD) could implement improvements to save up to $3.2 million of annual outside-the-classroom spending. This finding comes from a report released by State Auditor Shad White’s office this week. The school system partnered with the Auditor’s office to review expenditure data and identify ineffective spending.
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Audit Finds Savings in Outside-the-Classroom Spending at Hinds County School District

Auditor partners with advanced analytics team and school district to identify most effective ways to spend public education money

JACKSON, Miss. – The Hinds County School District (HCSD) could implement improvements and cut outside-the-classroom spending to save up to $3.7 million annually, according to a report released this week by State Auditor Shad White. The school district has partnered with the State Auditor’s office to analyze expenditure data and identify ineffective spending.
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Auditor’s Office Returns Over $150,000 to Taxpayers in March

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced his office collected $156,662.90 to return to taxpayers across Mississippi last month after previous investigations showed public funds were stolen or misused. Significant amounts were returned from cases involving a former deputy municipal clerk in Monticello, former Deputy Tax Collector in Harrison County, and former town clerk of Roxie.
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Former Oktibbeha County Road Department Employee Arrested for Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Thomas Smith, a former Oktibbeha County Road Department employee. Smith was arrested after he was indicted for embezzlement. A $657.20 demand letter was presented to Smith when he was arrested. The demand amount includes interest and investigative expenses.
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Auditor Works with Legislature to Increase Penalties for Fraud and Embezzlement

Fraud, embezzlement no longer eligible for pretrial diversion

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced public employees who embezzle or fraudulently obtain more than $10,000 of taxpayer money will no longer be able to participate in a pretrial diversion program. This announcement comes after Senate Bill 2552 was passed by both chambers of the Legislature and signed by the Governor.
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Nancy New and Zachary New Indicted in Federal Court

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White made the following statement after a 17-count federal indictment was unsealed today:
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Auditor’s Office Makes Two Arrests in North Mississippi

Separate cases result in demand letters and embezzlement, forgery charges

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Polly Tutor of Nettleton and LaTana Williams of Calhoun City. The arrests come from separate investigations. Tutor, a former clerk for the Itawamba County Soil and Water Conservation District, was indicted for embezzlement and forgery. Williams is the current police chief in Calhoun City and has been indicted for embezzlement. Each woman was presented a demand letter upon arrest.
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Auditor’s Office Arrests Former Veterans Cemetery Director for Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Henry Gruno after he was indicted for embezzlement. Gruno is a former director of the Mississippi Veterans Affairs (MSVA) cemetery in Newton County. Gruno was also presented a $29,818.76 demand letter upon arrest. This amount includes interest and investigative expenses.
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Randy James Sentenced in Federal Court

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White made the following statement after former Bay Springs City Clerk Randy James was sentenced in federal court:
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Auditor’s Office Arrests Municipal Court Clerk in Chickasaw County

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Kathy Smith after she was indicted for embezzlement. Smith is a former municipal court clerk for the City of Houston in Chickasaw County. A demand letter showing she owes $131,697.00 was presented to her upon arrest. The demand amount includes interest and investigative expenses.
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Auditor’s Office Arrests Former Tunica County Housing Project Director

Mardis Jones arrested, must repay over $1 million

JACKSON, Miss. – Today in a press conference State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Mardis Jones after he was indicted for fraud and embezzling public money in Tunica County. A $1,081,143.07 demand letter was issued to Jones upon his arrest. This amount represents the second-largest demand in a criminal case in the history of the Auditor’s office and includes both interest and investigative expenses.
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Shad White Holds Press Conference to Announce Arrest

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White will hold a press conference to discuss the second-largest criminal demand letter ever issued by the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor. The event will be held at 10:00 AM on Thursday, February 25.
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Mario King Enters Guilty Plea

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White made the following statement after Mario King entered a guilty plea in federal court today:
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Milton Rawle is Guilty of Embezzlement, Ordered to Serve Maximum Prison Sentence

Rawle must also continue repaying the City

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced former City of Columbus Chief Financial Officer Milton Rawle, Jr. has been convicted of embezzlement in Lowndes County Circuit Court. The case was prosecuted by District Attorney Scott Colom in Judge Lee Coleman’s court chambers. The guilty plea and sentencing were recorded yesterday.
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Auditor Releases Study of State Retirement System

JACKSON, Miss. – The Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi (PERS) operates well in some areas when compared to pensions in other states but could be improved in other areas according to a report released today by State Auditor Shad White. The study was conducted for the Office of the State Auditor for no charge by the Pew Charitable Trusts, an internationally-respected non-partisan public policy research organization.
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Auditor’s Office Returns Over $60,000 to Taxpayers in January

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced his office collected $66,574.44 for taxpayers across Mississippi last month after previous investigations showed public funds were stolen or misused. Significant amounts were returned from cases involving the former Chancery Clerk of Lincoln County and former executive staff at the Department of Marine Resources.
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Auditor’s Office Arrests Former Town Clerk for Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Amanda Lewis for embezzlement. Lewis was previously employed as the town clerk of Roxie in Franklin County. A $109,425.77 demand letter was issued to her when she was arrested. This amount includes interest, investigative expenses, and credit for money she has already returned to the town.
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Maurice Howard Guilty of Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White issued the following statement regarding court proceedings in Monroe County this morning:
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Auditor’s Office Arrests Former Pearl River County Crimestoppers Board Member

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Michelle McBride, a former board member and officer of the Pearl River County Crimestoppers (PRCCS), after she was indicted for embezzlement. An $82,416.37 demand letter was issued to McBride when she was arrested.
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Former Police Chief is Guilty of Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Herb Brewer, former Police Chief of the Town of Walls, has pleaded guilty to embezzlement in Judge Celeste Wilson’s chambers of DeSoto County Circuit Court. District Attorney John Champion prosecuted the case.
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Auditor Arrests Former Deputy Tax Collector in Jackson County for Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Colleen Ladnier, a former deputy tax collector in Jackson County, after she was indicted for embezzlement by a local grand jury.
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Auditor’s Office Arrests Alcorn County Tax Collector for Embezzlement and Fraud

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Larry Ross, Tax Collector of Alcorn County, after he was indicted for two counts of embezzlement and one count of making a fraudulent statement by a local grand jury. Upon his arrest, Ross was issued a demand letter showing he owes $69,155.23 to taxpayers in Alcorn County. This amount includes interest and investigative expenses.
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Audit Reveals Wide-ranging Misspending at Department of Corrections

JACKSON, Miss. – An audit released today by State Auditor Shad White shows widespread misspending at the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC). Actions by previous agency leadership and an absence of proper spending safeguards led to significant losses for taxpayers, according to the audit.
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Widespread Problems Uncovered in Holmes County School District Audit

District pays for private party, overpays former superintendent

JACKSON, Miss. – Taxpayers in Holmes County footed the bill for an “adults only,” “B.Y.O.B.” party and overpaid a former district superintendent by thousands of dollars. These findings and others come as part of a routine audit by the Office of State Auditor Shad White.
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Auditor Returns Nearly $500,000 to Mississippi Taxpayers

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced his office returned $444,772.26 to taxpayers across Mississippi after previous investigations showed public funds were stolen or misused. Significant amounts were returned from cases involving the City of Columbus, Canton Municipal Utilities, and the City of Pascagoula:
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Auditor Arrests Former Scott County Employee for Embezzling Fuel

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Tony Macon, a former employee of Scott County, after he was indicted for embezzlement by a grand jury assembled by District Attorney Steven Kilgore. Upon his arrest, Macon was issued a demand letter showing he owes $68,021.97 to taxpayers in Scott County. This amount includes interest and investigative expenses.
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Auditor Issues Demand to University of Mississippi Professor

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White made the following statement:

“Today my office issued a demand for $1,912.42 ($946.74 principal and $965.68 interest and investigative costs) to Prof. James Thomas for his ‘work stoppage’ (his words) on September 8th and 9th. ‘Concerted work stoppages’ and strikes are illegal under Mississippi’s no-strike law, and paying someone for not working violates Sections 66 and 96 of the state constitution. It’s simple—the taxpayers of Mississippi cannot pay someone when they did not provide the good or service they were hired to provide.
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Auditor Makes Arrest in Lawrence County

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Kimberly Davis, a former deputy municipal clerk in the Town of Monticello. Upon arrest, Davis was issued a demand letter showing she owes $41,856.79 to Monticello taxpayers. Interest and investigative expenses are included in the demand amount.
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Auditor Arrests Former Community College Employee for Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested former Northeast Mississippi Community College employee, Amy Haynie, after she was indicted for embezzlement. Haynie was issued a $68,762.87 demand letter upon her arrest. That demand total includes interest and investigative expense.
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Auditor Arrests Former Caledonia Water Department Supervisor

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested a former supervisor for the City of Caledonia water department, Barrett Baggett, after he was indicted for embezzlement. Baggett was issued a demand letter for $3,125.66 upon his arrest. Interest and investigative expenses are included in the demand amount.
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Auditor Arrests Municipal Court Clerk in Macon for Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested City of Macon Municipal Court Clerk, Yolanda Atkins, after she was indicted for embezzlement. A $4,450.79 demand letter was issued to Atkins at the time of her arrest. Investigative costs and interest are included in the demand amount.
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Jackson Public Schools’ JROTC Program Earns Top Marks

JACKSON, Miss. – Jackson is home to a nationally-recognized Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (JROTC) program that boosts the graduation rates and ACT scores of its participants, according to a report released today by State Auditor Shad White. Students enrolled in the JROTC program at Jackson Public Schools (JPS) are also more likely to be accepted to college than other JPS students.
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State Auditor Shad White Responds to MDE Statement

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White has issued the following statement:

“Yesterday my team and I wrote a letter that pointed out that the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) was ignoring the law on COVID-19 stimulus money for technology.
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Palmertree Receives National Award from CPA Organization

Stephanie Palmertree recognized as most outstanding government CPA at the state level

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White is proud to announce the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) has awarded Stephanie Palmertree the 2020 Outstanding CPA in Government Impact Award at the State Level. Palmertree is the Director of the Financial & Compliance Audit Division at the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor.
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Auditors Arrest Former Columbus Chief Financial Officer for Embezzlement

Milton Rawle is accused of embezzling nearly $300,000

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested former City of Columbus Chief Financial Officer Milton Rawle, Jr. after he was indicted for embezzlement by a grand jury in the district of District Attorney Scott Colom. Upon his arrest, Rawle was issued a demand showing he owes $354,896.27 to taxpayers in Columbus. This amount includes interest and investigative expenses.
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Reports Show Education Data Can be More Accurate

JACKSON, Miss. – Some public school records may be incomplete or contain errors, potentially skewing school program assessments or affecting local school district funding. Two reports released by State Auditor Shad White’s office today offer recommendations to ensure Mississippi public schools produce and report accurate data.
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State Auditor Releases CARES Act Audit Plan

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White has released his plan to audit over $1.25 billion sent to Mississippi as part of the CARES Act, the COVID-19 federal stimulus money. The five-part plan is meant to prevent fraud in Mississippi.  
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State Auditor Releases Annual Exceptions Report

Money returned to taxpayers increased by over 350%

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White’s office returned over $5.6 million to taxpayers last fiscal year. According to the Audit Exceptions Report for Fiscal Year 2020, released today, the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor more than tripled the amount of money it returned to taxpayers compared to last year.
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Auditor’s Office Arrests Three in Jones County

JACKSON, Miss. – Today Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office arrested Jones County District 5 Road Foreman Roland Graham and Larry Barnes. Graham was indicted for fraud or embezzlement and conspiracy to defraud the state, and Barnes was indicted for conspiracy to defraud the state, by a grand jury assembled by District Attorney Anthony Buckley. Demand letters worth a total of $14,442.18 were delivered at the time of the arrest. The total demand amount includes interest and the cost of the investigation.   
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Auditor’s Office Returns $150,000, Cases Lead to Four Convictions in June

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White announced the Auditor’s office concluded four cases with guilty verdicts for embezzlement and returned nearly $150,000 to taxpayers last month.
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Charles Woods is New Chief of Staff at Auditor’s Office

JACKSON, Miss. – Shad White announced today Charles Woods has been appointed as his Chief of Staff at the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor.
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Audit Shows Office of Dropout Prevention was Defunct, Changed How Graduation Rate Was Calculated to Improve Stats

JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) failed to maintain an Office of Dropout Prevention (ODP) for the last 10 years as required by state law. Additionally, lawmakers told MDE to increase the graduation rate from 61% in 2006 to 85% by 2019, and MDE met this goal in part by changing how it calculates the graduation rate. State Auditor Shad White announced these findings and more in a performance audit released today.
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Report Shows Education Pay Raises Prioritized Administrative Staff

JACKSON, Miss. – Classroom teachers in Mississippi were given smaller dollar-amount pay raises, on average, than superintendents, deputy superintendents, and assistant principals from FY 2013 to 2016 according to a report released today by State Auditor Shad White.
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Former District Attorney’s Office Investigator is Guilty of Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Joe Edney has been convicted of embezzlement in Judge Charles E. Webster’s court chambers in Tunica County. The case was prosecuted by the Attorney General’s office.
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Favre Repays TANF Funds

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White has released the following statement:
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Audit of DHS Reveals Millions Wasted

Auditor’s Office Questions Over $90 Million in Spending of Welfare Grants and Other Funds

JACKSON – Millions of dollars of grants from the Mississippi Department of Human Services (DHS) were misspent, converted to personal use, spent on family members and friends of staffers and grantees, or wasted according to an audit released today by State Auditor Shad White.
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Shad White Holds Press Conference to Discuss Single Audit Findings at the Mississippi Department of Human Services

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White will hold a press conference to discuss the audit findings listed in the annual Single Audit, which includes the Department of Human Services (DHS), at 1:00 PM on Monday, May 4.
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Fraud Schemes Widespread During COVID-19 Emergency

Auditor warns, informs Mississippians where to report different types of schemes

JACKSON, Miss. – Fraud schemes become more common, according to State Auditor Shad White, during emergencies. To help combat that fraud, the Office of the State Auditor today released information on the best authorities to contact if Mississippians see a fraud scheme, along with information on how to protect themselves from the fraud.
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Auditor’s Office to Bring Accountability to COVID-19 Stimulus Spending

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White and his staff are making plans to audit and monitor the money coming into Mississippi as part of the CARES Act, the federal government’s stimulus response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Former Philadelphia Court Clerk is Guilty of Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced former Philadelphia municipal court clerk Karen Refre has been convicted of embezzlement in Neshoba County Circuit Court. The case was prosecuted by District Attorney Stephen S. Kilgore in Judge Mark Duncan’s court chambers. The sentencing was recorded last week on Friday.
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Auditor Arrests former Simpson County Sheriff’s Office Employee for Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested former Simpson County Sheriff’s Office administrative assistant Stephanie Cuellar after she was indicted for embezzlement by a grand jury assembled by District Attorney Matt Sullivan. Cuellar was issued a demand letter worth $34,829.57, which includes interest and investigative expenses.
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Auditor Arrests former Lawrence County Conservation District Clerk

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office arrested former Lawrence County Soil and Water Conservation District clerk Brandy Russell after she was indicted for embezzlement by a grand jury assembled by District Attorney Hal Kittrell. A demand letter was issued to Russell when she was arrested.
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Auditor Returns Over $1.3 Million to Taxpayers in February

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White’s office returned over $1.3 million back to Mississippi taxpayers last month in stolen or misused funds. Significant amounts were returned in cases involving several town officials in Pelahatchie; the mayor of Aberdeen, Maurice Howard; the former Chancery Clerk of Humphreys County, Lawrence Browder; the former town clerk of Raleigh, Helen Bounds; and the commissioners of the Town Creek Master Water Management Board:
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Former Harrison County Assistant Tax Collector Sentenced for Committing Fraud

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced former Harrison County Assistant Tax Collector Denise Gill has been sentenced in Judge Lisa Dodson’s chamber of circuit court after she was convicted for fraud last month. The case was prosecuted by District Attorney Joel Smith.
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Former Jones County Supervisor Jerome Wyatt Found Guilty of Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced former Jones County Supervisor Jerome Wyatt has been convicted of embezzlement in Judge Dal Williamson’s chamber of Jones County Circuit Court. The case was prosecuted by District Attorney Anthony J. Buckley.
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Former Water Association Office Manager Arrested for Embezzlement and Fraud

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office arrested Joann Williams, former office manager of the Tri-County Water Association in Jasper County. Williams was arrested for embezzlement and fraud after she was indicted by a grand jury assembled by District Attorney Matt Sullivan. The Auditor’s office conducted the investigation after the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office requested assistance.
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Auditor Arrests Former Town of Walls Police Chief for Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested the former police chief of the Town of Walls, Herb Brewer, after he was indicted for embezzlement by a grand jury assembled by District Attorney John Champion. A demand letter worth $6,943.58 was issued to Brewer at the time of his arrest. Interest and investigative costs are included in the demand amount.
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Auditor Arrests Former Director of DHS and Co-Conspirators in Largest Public Embezzlement Case in State History

Defendants Accused of Obtaining Millions in Funds Intended for Poor

JACKSON, Miss. – Special agents from the office of State Auditor Shad White have arrested John Davis, the former Director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services (DHS); former DHS employee Latimer Smith; Dr. Nancy New, owner and Director of the Mississippi Community Education Center (MCEC) and New Learning, Inc.; Zach New, Assistant Executive Director of MCEC; Anne McGrew, accountant for MCEC; and Brett DiBiase in connection with a multimillion-dollar embezzlement scheme. The indictments include a range of violations involving fraud and embezzlement.
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Auditor Completes Efficiency Study of Department of Transportation

Report outlines where MDOT is performing well, areas for cost savings

JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) is operating at a level comparable to other state transportation departments across the nation, but they could save millions of dollars by streamlining operations. This finding, along with the ways MDOT could save taxpayer money, is published in a study of MDOT released by State Auditor Shad White today.
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Former Quitman County School District Employee Arrested for Fraud

JACKSON, Miss. – Today Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested former Quitman County School District employee, Linder Howze-Campbell, after she was indicted for fraud by a grand jury assembled by District Attorney Brenda Mitchell. A demand letter worth $72,031.44 was delivered to Howze-Campbell at the time of her arrest. The total demand amount includes interest and the cost of the investigation.
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Auditor’s Office Begins New Year with Momentum from Concluded Investigations

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White’s office ended 2019 by securing convictions for Dana Beaman of Hancock County and Christy James of Wayne County in separate December court sessions. Beaman will spend at least six years in prison, and James was sentenced to at least five years of probation. Judges also ordered both women to repay taxpayers a total of over $150,000.
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Mississippi Outpaces Southern States in Outside-the-Classroom Spending

JACKSON, Miss. – Mississippi spent a higher percentage of public education money outside the classroom and on administrative expenditures than almost every other state in the South in the last 10 years according to a new report released today by State Auditor Shad White. The report also shows Mississippi spent a smaller portion of money inside the classroom than most other southern states during the same time.
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Former Warren County Bookkeeper Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Paula Hunt, former bookkeeper at the Warren County Tax Collector’s office, pled guilty to embezzlement in Warren County Circuit Court. Judge James Chaney sentenced Hunt to spend at least eight years in prison. The judge also ordered her to repay the money she embezzled from Warren County in monthly payments after she is released.  Special Agents from the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor and the office of District Attorney Richard Smith worked together to investigate and prosecute the case.
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Auditor Makes Two Arrests in Smith County in Separate Cases

JACKSON, Miss. – Today Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested two former public employees in Smith County after concluding separate investigations. Helen Bounds, former Town Clerk of Raleigh, was presented with a demand letter worth $48,339.25 when she was arrested for embezzlement. Justin Middleton, former solid waste clerk for the Smith County Board of Supervisors, was issued a demand letter worth $33,525.29 when she was arrested for fraud and embezzlement. A grand jury assembled by District Attorney Matt Sullivan chose to indict both women. Each demand amount includes interest and investigative expenses.
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Auditor Arrests Mayor of Aberdeen for Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Mayor Maurice Howard of Aberdeen after he was indicted for 5 counts of embezzlement by a grand jury assembled by District Attorney John Weddle. A demand letter worth $11,649.34 was delivered to Howard at the time of his arrest. Interest and investigative costs are included in the demand amount.
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Auditor Arrests Former District Attorney Employee and Former Deputy Tax Collector After Separate Investigations

JACKSON, Miss. – Today Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested former Pearl River County Deputy Tax Collector Stacy Treadaway and Joseph Edney, former investigator for the 11th Circuit Court District Attorney.
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Auditor’s Report Shows Disregard for Cyber Security in State Government

JACKSON, Miss. – Several state agencies, boards, commissions, and universities are failing to adhere to state cyber security laws, leaving Mississippians’ personal data vulnerable to hackers. According to survey results published in a report from the Office of State Auditor Shad White, many state entities are operating like state and federal cyber security laws do not apply to them.
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Auditor Arrests Supervisor in Newton County

JACKSON, Miss. – Today Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Newton County Supervisor Glenn Hollingsworth after he was indicted for fraudulently obtaining public funds by a grand jury assembled by District Attorney for the 8th District Steven S. Kilgore. A demand letter worth $7,984.02 was issued to Hollingsworth at the time of his arrest. The total demand amount includes accrued interest and the cost of the investigation.
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Auditor Finds Documentation Issues at Blues Commission

Report recommends abolishing commission and assigning its responsibilities to nonprofit organization

JACKSON, Miss. – A performance audit released today by State Auditor Shad White found the Mississippi Blues Commission could not upon request provide proper documentation for millions of dollars of expenditures.
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Former Wayne County Justice Court Clerk Arrested for Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested former Wayne County Justice Court Clerk Christy James after she was indicted for embezzlement by a grand jury assembled by District Attorney for the 10th District Kassie Coleman. A demand letter worth $51,531.80 was delivered to James at the time of her arrest. The demand amount includes investigative costs and all accrued interest.
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Auditor Makes Two Arrests in Separate Embezzlement Cases

JACKSON, Miss. – Today Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested former City of Philadelphia Court Clerk Karen Refre and former City Clerk of Okolona Rebecca Moore after both were indicted for embezzlement in separate cases. A demand letter worth $25,746.59 was issued to Refre at the time of her surrender, and a demand worth $17,295.57 was delivered to Moore before she was transported to prison. Each demand amount includes investigative costs and accrued interest.
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State Auditor Finds Alarming Business Practices at Hinds County School District

JACKSON, Miss. – Today Auditor Shad White announced his office uncovered alarming business practices at the Hinds County School District during a routine audit. Auditors found poor controls over the district credit cards and bank accounts which had not been reconciled in nearly a year. Additionally, spending records were destroyed before they were reviewed, and the district failed to adhere to some purchasing laws. Most concerning is a finding showing an assistant superintendent is responsible for more than $50,000 in improper expenditures.
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Auditor’s Office Returns Over $160,000 to Taxpayers in July

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced his office returned over $160,000 to Mississippi taxpayers last month after previous investigations by the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor determined public funds were stolen or misused. Significant amounts were recovered from demands to William “Bill” Walker and George Nangah.
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Auditor’s Annual Report Shows Busy Year for Recovering Public Money

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White today announced the release of an annual report listing the instances of misappropriation, misspending, or theft of public funds over the last fiscal year. The Audit Exceptions Report for Fiscal Year 2019 shows the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor issued 64 formal demands – 24 more than the previous year – and identified over $4.6 million to be returned to taxpayers.
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Department of Human Services and Prison Industries Among Agencies with Significant Audit Findings

JACKSON, Miss. – Several Mississippi state agencies failed to meet legal requirements to spend public money and do not have adequate safeguards to prevent fraud according to a report released today by State Auditor Shad White.
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Auditors Arrest Harrison County Assistant Tax Collector

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Harrison County Assistant Tax Collector Denise Gill after she was indicted on four counts of submitting false statements to defraud the government by a grand jury assembled by District Attorney for the Mississippi 2nd District Joel Smith. A demand letter worth $19,821.50 was delivered to Gill at the time of her arrest. Interest and investigative costs were included in the total demand amount.
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Auditor Arrests Former Nurse at Collins Veterans Home

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested a nurse previously employed by the Mississippi Veterans Affairs Board at the State Veterans Home at Collins. Brittany Ransom was arrested after she was indicted for embezzlement and making false representations to defraud government by a grand jury assembled by District Attorney for the 15th District Matthew Sullivan. Ransom was delivered a demand letter worth $15,505.47 at the time of her arrest. Accrued interest and investigative costs are included in the demand amount.
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Auditor Arrests Former Stone County Utility Authority Employee

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Shellie Dickens (aka Shellie Martin), former administrative assistant for the Stone County Utility Authority, after she was indicted for embezzlement by a grand jury assembled by District Attorney for the Mississippi 2nd District Joel Smith. At the time of her arrest, Dickens was issued a $13,492.12 demand letter which accounts for investigative costs and interest.
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Auditor Makes Arrest in Hazlehurst Child Care Fraud Scheme

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Jan Coleman, former director of the Hazlehurst United Methodist Church Child Care & Preschool, after she was indicted for one count of fraud in connection with a state or federally funded program and one count of embezzlement by a grand jury assembled by District Attorney for the Mississippi 22nd District Alexander Martin. At the time of her arrest, agents delivered a demand letter worth $10,187.53 to Coleman for the cost of the investigation.
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Auditor Issues Demand Letters to Former Pascagoula City Manager and Comptroller

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced his office has issued demand letters to two former City of Pascagoula employees this week. Robert Parker, former city comptroller, and Joseph Huffman, former city manager, received demand letters for exercising improper financial management of bond proceeds. The total amount of both demands is $54,215.17 and includes all investigative costs and accrued interest.
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Former City of Moss Point Employees Plead Guilty to Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced two former employees of the City of Moss Point, Kenya Bowens and Lakeshia Benton, have both pled guilty to embezzlement in Jackson County Circuit Court. Both women are scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Dale Harkey on June 11. The case was investigated by Special Agents from the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor and prosecuted by the office of District Attorney for the 19th District Angel McIlrath.
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State Auditor Issues Over $1.1 Million in Demands and Makes Three Arrests in Coahoma County

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from the Auditor’s office have made arrests in two separate cases after a grand jury assembled by District Attorney for the 11th District Brenda Mitchell indicted Gwendolyn Jefferson, Stacie Neal, and Kappi Allen. The total amount of demands issued among the three is over $1.1 million.
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State Auditor Arrests Former Friendship Volunteer Fire Department Treasurer

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office arrested former treasurer Sandra “Carlene” Statham for Friendship Volunteer Fire Department in Pike County. Statham was arrested for embezzlement after she was indicted by a grand jury assembled by District Attorney for the 14th District Dewitt Bates. The Auditor’s office conducted the investigation after the Pike County Sheriff’s Office requested assistance.
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State Auditor Arrests Former Bookkeeper at Warren County Tax Collector’s Office

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office, along with officers from the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, arrested former Warren County Tax Collector’s office bookkeeper Paula Hunt. Hunt was arrested for embezzlement by a public official after she was indicted by a grand jury assembled by District Attorney for the 9th District Richard Smith, Jr. Hunt also received a demand letter for $165,329.98 at the time of her arrest. All interest and investigative costs are included in the demand amount.
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State Auditor Issues $188,000 Demand Against Lincoln County Officials

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White issued a civil demand to current Chancery Clerk of Lincoln County Tillmon Bishop for failure to reimburse the county for employee salary expenses from his office. Four current Lincoln County Supervisors were also issued civil demands related to voting to improperly pay the salary of a chancery clerk employee with county funds.
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Auditor’s Office Arrests Member of Jackson Counterfeit Check Ring

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White announced that Special Agents from his office arrested Gregory Deante McCarty, 36, at his Jackson residence on Kennington Avenue following a three-month investigation involving counterfeit state checks.
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Outside-the-Classroom K-12 Spending Balloons Despite Fewer Students and Teachers

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White released a report today which shows outside-the-classroom spending on administration and non-instruction activities has increased in Mississippi over the last decade, despite the fact that the number of K-12 students and classroom teachers has decreased during the same period. If outside-the-classroom spending had remained the same per student for the last decade, Mississippi could have had more than $358 million to dedicate to spending in the classroom—enough for an $11,000 teacher pay raise.
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Former Bookkeeper for Oloh Fire Protection District Arrested for Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested former Secretary/Treasurer of the Oloh Fire Protection District Jessica Delancey after she was indicted for embezzlement by a grand jury assembled by District Attorney Hal Kittrell. At the time of arrest, Delancey was issued a $100,294.59 demand letter which includes interest and investigative costs.
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Auditor’s Office Returned Over $50,000 to Taxpayers Last Month

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced his office returned $52,780.09 to Mississippi taxpayers last month after investigations by the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor determined public funds were stolen or misused. A significant amount was recovered from Chris Smith, who was issued a demand letter in January 2019.
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Board Owes Over $500,000 to Property Owners in North Mississippi

TUPELO, Miss. – Today at a press conference State Auditor Shad White announced he has issued demand letters to each current member of the Town Creek Master Water Management District Board of Commissioners for approving unlawful per diem payments to themselves. The total of all demands is $523,388.76 and includes interest and cost of recovery. The names of the commissioners including one deceased individual and the corresponding demand amounts are: Continue Reading

Auditor Uncovers One of the Largest Embezzlement Schemes in Past Decade

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White issued a demand to former Bay Springs City Clerk Randy James for suspected embezzlement. Interest and investigative costs are included in the $325,561.84 demand letter. This case ranks as the ninth largest demand for embezzlement in the last decade in Mississippi.
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Auditor’s Office Returns over $350,000 to Mississippi Taxpayers

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced his office returned over $350,000 to Mississippi taxpayers on Thursday after investigations by the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor determined public funds were stolen or misused. Significant amounts were recovered from John Cullen, Mary Washington, and Jerome Wyatt.
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Auditor Issues Embezzlement Demand to Former Mississippi Board of Animal Health Employee

JACKSON, Miss. – Today Special Agents from the Office of State Auditor Shad White delivered a demand for alleged embezzlement to Chris Smith, former Director of Accounting and Finance at the Mississippi Board of Animal Health. The demand is for $33,892.54 and includes interest and investigative costs.
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Humphreys County Chancery Clerk Arrested for Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today Special Agents from the Office of State Auditor Shad White arrested current Humphreys County Chancery Clerk Lawrence Browder after he was indicted for submitting false documents by a grand jury assembled by District Attorney for the 21st District Akillie Malone-Oliver. Browder was issued a demand letter for $279,764.16 at the time of his arrest. Interest and investigative expenses are included in the demand amount.
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Auditor’s Office Launches Project to Improve Efficiency and Eliminate Waste at Department of Transportation

JACKSON, Miss. – Today the Office of State Auditor Shad White launched a study to identify savings and cut fat at the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT). The Auditor’s office will hire private sector experts to conduct the analysis with guidance from the Auditor’s office. The study began with the release today of the Auditor’s request for proposals (RFP) to all qualified consultants interested in conducting the performance audit.
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Auditor’s Office Arrests Two Former Moss Point Employees for Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today Special Agents from the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor arrested two former employees of the City of Moss Point, Kenya Bowens and Lakeshia Benton, after both were indicted for embezzlement by a grand jury assembled by outgoing District Attorney for the 19th District Anthony “Tony” Lawrence. At the time of arrest agents issued Bowens and Benton separate demand letters for over $30,000 cumulatively, which includes interest and investigative costs.
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Statement from State Auditor Shad White Regarding Arrest of Former Water Association President in Marion County

JACKSON, Miss. – Investigators from the State Auditor’s office provided assistance to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office which led to an arrest of a former water association president. Marcus P. Hull is accused of embezzling $106,599.63 from Mt. Gilead-Improve Water Association during a two-year period.
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Agents from Office of the State Auditor Assist with Arrest of Former Webster County Sheriff

JACKSON, Miss. – Investigators from the State Auditor’s office participated in a joint operation that led to the arrest of the Sheriff of Webster County. State Auditor Shad White issued the following quote:
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State Auditor Releases Compliance Audit of the State Auditor’s Office

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White announced today the completion of a compliance audit of his own office. Mississippi law and auditing experts from the Auditor’s compliance audit division reviewed whether employees of the Office of the State Auditor were complying with all the laws that apply to their handling of public money.
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State Auditor Issues $673,000 Demand Against Estate of Former Wilkinson County Chancery Clerk

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White has issued a civil demand to the estate of the former Chancery Clerk of Wilkinson County, the late Thomas C. Tolliver. The demand states Tolliver exceeded the fee cap for his position and failed to reimburse the county for employee salary expenses.
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State Auditor Arrests Former Health Department Employee for Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today Special Agents from the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor arrested former employee of the Lowndes County Health Department Phyllis Welch after she was indicted for embezzlement by a grand jury assembled by District Attorney for the Mississippi 16th District Scott Colom. Welch was also issued a demand for $4,102.68, which includes interest and investigative costs.
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State Auditor Calls for Internal Auditors, Other Changes to Prevent Embezzlement at Public Universities and Community Colleges

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White released a report showing that, while all Mississippi four-year universities have internal auditors, no Mississippi community colleges employ internal auditors. The report recommends changes to state law to address that issue and describes other measures to help prevent fraud in higher education.
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Auditor’s Office Arrests Jones County Supervisor for Embezzlement and Fraud

JACKSON, Miss. – Today Special Agents from the office of State Auditor Shad White arrested Jones County Supervisor Jerome Wyatt for embezzlement and fraud. He was indicted by a grand jury assembled by District Attorney Anthony J. Buckley, the District Attorney for Mississippi’s 18th District. Wyatt was also issued a demand letter at the time of arrest.
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Auditor’s Office Reveals Widespread Misspending Practices at Canton Municipal Utilities and Issues Thirteen Demand Letters Worth Over $100,000

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced that civil demands were issued to 12 current and former Canton Municipal Utilities employees. The demands total $101,829.76 and include principle, interest, and investigative costs.
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Former Treasurer of Lamar County Volunteer Fire Department Arrested for Embezzlement

OLOH, Miss. – Special Agents from the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor arrested former treasurer of the Oloh Volunteer Fire Department Michelle Barefoot this week. District Attorney for the Mississippi 15th District, Hal Kittrell, assembled a grand jury that recently returned an indictment for embezzlement against her.
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Former Town Clerk of Coldwater Arrested by Local Authorities and Issued $300,000 Demand by Auditor’s Office

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White announced today that George Nangah, former Town Clerk of Coldwater, was arrested by local law enforcement in Tunica County after a joint investigation between the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor and federal agencies. Nangah faces a federal indictment of multiple counts of wire fraud. He was also issued a demand for $302,973.19 from the Auditor’s office.
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Richie McCluskey is New Director of Investigations at Auditor’s Office

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White announced today that Richie McCluskey will replace David Huggins as Director of Investigations at the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor. Huggins resigned from his position shortly after White became State Auditor, and the office is appreciative of his service.
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State Auditor Shad White Issues $980,000 Demand for Embezzlement to Two Former Coahoma Community College Employees

CLARKSDALE, Miss. – On Friday, Special Agents from the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor delivered demand letters for embezzlement to former Coahoma Community College employees Gwendolyn Jefferson and Stacie Neal. Each demand is for $981,600.64, which includes principal, interest, and investigative costs.
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State Auditor’s Office Releases Report Detailing Mismanagement at Mississippi State Board of Dental Examiners

JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Office of the State Auditor has conducted a compliance audit and released a management report for the Mississippi State Board of Dental Examiners. The report details findings related to the current board members, former executive director, and several other employees.
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Auditor’s Office Verifies Cost Estimate for Mississippi Adequate Education Program and Reviews School Attendance Accuracy

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White has verified the preliminary cost calculation of the Mississippi Adequate Education Program for Fiscal Year 2020, which is generated by the Mississippi Department of Education. Governor Phil Bryant, Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves, and Speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives Philip Gunn were notified by letter.
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Auditor’s Office Issues Demand to Noxubee County Chancery Clerk

JACKSON, Miss. – Special agents from the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor have delivered a civil demand to Mary Washington, Noxubee County Chancery Clerk. The amount of the demand is $38,555.78 and includes interest and investigative costs.
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Auditor’s Office Issues $235k Demand to Ohio Business for Failure to Meet Economic Development Agreement Terms

JACKSON, Miss. – This week, the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor issued a demand letter to John Cullen, CEO of Payliance Inc. The demand is for $234,729.67 and includes principal, interest, and investigative costs.
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State Auditor Shad White Announces New Transparency Website

JACKSON, Miss. – Today State Auditor Shad White announced the launch of a new section of the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor website dedicated to transparency. Many contracts, requests for proposals, and various other documents from the office will be posted online at www.osa.ms.gov/transparency.
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State Auditor Shad White Releases 2018 Exceptions Report

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White today announced the release of the report listing the instances of misappropriation of public funds over the past year. Known as the Audit Exceptions Report, this report for fiscal year 2018 shows that the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor issued 43 formal demands and recovered nearly $3 Million on behalf of Mississippi taxpayers.
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Auditor’s Office and Division of Medicaid Announce Joint Effort to Identify and Recover Funds

Jackson, Miss. – The Mississippi Office of the State Auditor (OSA), in collaboration with the Mississippi Division of Medicaid, has identified and begun to recover $616,447 in improper payments made to Managed Care Organizations by Medicaid.
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State Auditor Shad White to Speak at Neshoba County Fair on Wednesday

Philadelphia, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White will speak at the Neshoba County Fair near Philadelphia on Wednesday, August 1, at 9:40 AM. He will discuss his transition into office along with the following topics:
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State Auditor Issues Demand against City Clerk of Tchula for Non-payment of Court Assessment Fees

JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Office of the State Auditor (OSA) issued a demand for $106,140.66 against the City Clerk of Tchula, Annie Horton, for failure to transfer court assessment fees to the Mississippi Treasurer’s Office as required by state law. The demand includes interest and investigative costs.
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State Auditor Issues $500k Demand for Misspent Drug Forfeiture Funds in Pelahatchie

JACKSON, Miss. – Today, special agents from the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor (OSA) delivered civil demands to several current and former officials in the Town of Pelahatchie. Drug seizure funds, which are required to be used for law enforcement purposes, were misspent by the Town. Two demands were issued for a total $502,363.07, which includes interest and investigative costs.
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OSA Special Agent Tim Powell Wins “Top Cop” Award

JACKSON, Miss. – Special Agent Tim Powell from the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor (OSA) was a recipient of the “Top Cop” award on Wednesday, May 16, 2018, at the Mississippi Trade Mart. Agent Powell has worked for OSA since 2003.
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Former Alcorn County Deputy Justice Court Clerk Arrested for Embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. – Today, Special Agents from the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor arrested Jeanette Tullis for embezzlement. She was also issued a demand for $4,140.00, which includes principal, investigative costs, and interest.
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State Auditor Examines Growth Opportunities from Economic Development Programs and Advises Against Risky Investments by Legislature

JACKSON, Miss. – On Wednesday, April 4, the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor (OSA) Performance Division released a report focused on failed economic development programs. In the 243 projects discussed, the State of Mississippi has generated more than twelve dollars in return for every one public dollar spent by the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) on economic developments;failed projects represent $185.6 Million in disbursements.
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State Auditor Stacey Pickering and Performance Audit Division Issue $92 Million Demand against Failed “Green Project” Stion Corporation

JACKSON, Miss. – Today, State Auditor Stacey Pickering and the Performance Audit Division of the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor (OSA) issued the largest ever demand issued by OSA against Stion Corporation in the amount of $92,943,780.86.
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State Auditor Stacey Pickering Puts Cities on Notice to Prepare to Pay Court Assessment Fees to Mississippi Treasury

JACKSON, Miss. – Today, State Auditor Stacey Pickering notified local government officials in the Towns of Tchula and Raleigh, City of Shaw, and Coahoma County to prepare to pay delinquent court assessment fees to the Mississippi Treasurer’s Office or face receiving a formal demand from the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor (OSA).
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Stacey Pickering Releases Issues Nearly $100k of Demands to Canton Municipal Utilities Commissioners

JACKSON, Miss. – Today, OSA Special Agents presented civil demands to five current members of the Canton Municipal Utilities Board of Commissioners. Cleotha Williams, Charles Weems, L.C. Slaughter, Charles Morgan, and Cleveland Anderson were all served demands of $19,192.77, each. The total amount for the demands against the commissioners is $95,963.85, which includes principle, interest, and investigative costs.
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State Auditor Stacey Pickering Releases FY 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for Mississippi

JACKSON, Miss. – Yesterday, Stacey Pickering released an unmodified opinion on the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year which ended on June 30, 2017, and issued the Findings Report, commonly known as the “Yellow Book Report.”
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MAEP Historical Overview

Due to the recent debate and House passage of HB 957 (Mississippi Uniform Per Student Funding Formula Act of 2018), I thought it would be prudent to share the historical research and information compiled by my office about the many changes to the MAEP. Included here is a list of current MAEP state code sections that have been amended, added, or changed; a copy of the School District Rating and Accountability System changes over time; and an overview flow chart of the actual MAEP formula.
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State Auditor Stacey Pickering Reports Fraud, Waste, and Abuse at Mississippi Auctioneer Commission and Board of Cosmetology

JACKSON, Miss. – On Tuesday, January 16, 2018, State Auditor Stacey Pickering released two compliance audit reports detailing fraud, waste, and abuse at the Mississippi Auctioneer Commission and Mississippi State Board of Cosmetology. The scope of the audits included Fiscal Years 2015-2017 for the Mississippi Auctioneer Commission and Fiscal Year 2016 for the Mississippi State Board of Cosmetology. Executive Summaries of each report may be found online at the OSA website.
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State Auditor Stacey Pickering Issues Reports Calling for Internal Auditors at State Agencies and Attention to Rural Healthcare

JACKSON, Miss. – On Wednesday, December 12, 2017, the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor (OSA) released two audit reports based on projects conducted by the Performance Audit division of OSA. These reports are meant to serve as a resource for the state leaders and those who influence policy.
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Auditor’s Office Arrests Former Biloxi School District Resource Officer

JACKSON, Miss. – On Tuesday, November 14, 2017, special agents from the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor (OSA) arrested former Biloxi School District Police Chief, Paul Gordon Cannette of Ocean Springs, after he was indicted on one count of embezzlement by a Harrison County grand jury. Cannette was issued a demand of $244,819.78 from OSA, which includes the amount embezzled, interest, and recovery costs.
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State Auditor Issues over $250,000 in Demands and Makes Arrests

JACKSON, Miss. – Agents from the Office of the State Auditor (OSA) recently arrested Sherry Brewer, former Bookkeeper for Harrison Central High School. She was issued a demand of $14,698.36, which includes interest and investigative costs. A Harrison County Grand Jury indicted Brewer for embezzlement and alteration of records after evidence showed Brewer was pocketing money from students and teachers and altering the receipts.
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Stacey Pickering Honored as Member of 2017 Mississippi Top 50

JACKSON, Miss. – On Tuesday, October 3, 2017, Mississippi State Auditor Stacey Pickering was named a member of the 2017 Mississippi Top 50. He is one of 27 elected and appointed government officials across the state to receive the award.
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Stacey Pickering Releases Reports Detailing Negligent Oversight and Pattern of Non-Compliance at Mississippi Department of Education

JACKSON, Miss. – On Monday, the Mississippi Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review (PEER) delivered their case study on State government purchasing contracts, which highlighted concerns over Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) contract and purchasing procedures.
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State Auditor Releases Cyber Security Best Practices

JACKSON, Miss. – In light of the 2017 Children’s Internet Protection Act Compliance Review report released earlier this year, Mississippi State Auditor Stacey Pickering is releasing his office’s recommendations for Cybersecurity Best Practices.
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State Auditor Releases 2017 Legislative Expense Report

JACKSON, Miss. – On Tuesday, September 19, 2017, State Auditor Stacey Pickering released the 2017 Legislative Expense Report. This report expenses reported by the legislature and staff associated with its function.
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Pontotoc City Park and Recreation Special Events Coordinator Arrested and Issued Demand

JACKSON, Miss. – On Tuesday, September 12, 2017, Special Agents from the Office of the State Auditor (OSA) arrested Pontotoc City Park and Recreation Special Events Coordinator Michelle Boone on the charge of embezzlement. OSA then issued a demand of $15,153.21 to Boone, which covered the loss, interest, and the cost of recovery.
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State Auditor Stacey Pickering Confiscates Over 75 Firearms and Issues Nearly $400,000 Demand in Ecru, Mississippi

Pontotoc, Miss. – On Tuesday, September 12, 2017, Special Agents from the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor arrested former City Clerk of Ecru, Mississippi, Gretchin Moody, and former Chief of Police of Ecru, Mississippi, Paul Martin Blaylock, for embezzlement and issued demands of $393,085.56, which includes interest and investigative costs added to the amount embezzled.
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Annual MAEP preliminary calculation cannot be validated. Preliminary calculations by Mississippi Department of Education underfund the formula by $732,757.

JACKSON, Miss. – On Wednesday, September 6, 2017, the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor released its FY 2019 preliminary estimate calculation of the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP).
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Coldwater Public Works Supervisor Arrested and Issued Demand

JACKSON, Miss. – On Monday, August 7, 2017, the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor issued a demand of $795.36 against Town of Coldwater Public Works Supervisor, Wayne Hayes. He was indicted for purchasing parts for a personal vehicle with city funds and was arrested by OSA Special Agents and charged with embezzlement. The demand issued includes investigative costs and interest.
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OSA Director of Special Projects Samantha Atkinson Honored as Top State Employee

JACKSON, Miss. – Samantha “Sam” Atkinson from the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor (OSA) was the recipient of the 2017 Excellence in State Government Award on Thursday, August 3. Former State Auditor and current Governor Phil Bryant presented the award at a ceremony in his office.
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GreenTech Automotive Inc. Case Referred to Office of Attorney General

JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Stacey Pickering issued a demand against GreenTech Automotive, Inc. on Wednesday, July 5, 2017. GreenTech Automotive Inc. has defaulted upon their agreement with the taxpayers of Mississippi, therefore, the Office of the State Auditor will now refer the case to the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office.
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Mississippi Office of State Auditor Issues Demand Against Former Hancock County Justice Court Employee

JACKSON, Miss. – On Friday, July 28, 2017, Special Agents from the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor (OSA) arrested former Hancock County Justice Court Employee, Dana Sue Beaman, on the charges of embezzlement and making false entries in public records. The OSA also issued a demand of $197,408.94, which accounts for the embezzled amount, interest, and recovery costs.
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State Auditor Releases FY2017 Exceptions Report

JACKSON-State Auditor Stacey Pickering announced the release of the Fiscal Year 2017 Audit Exceptions Report.
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Auditor’s Office Issues Report Outlining GreenTech Automotive Inc. Case

JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Office of the State Auditor has released a report detailing findings regarding GreenTech Automotive Inc. The report outlines articles of agreement upon which GreenTech failed to perform.
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State Auditor Stacey Pickering Issues Demands against GreenTech Automotive Inc.

JACKSON, Miss. – GreenTech Automotive Inc., located in Robinsonville, MS owes the state of Mississippi nearly $5 Million, and State Auditor Stacey Pickering is ordering that the money be repaid with interest and investigative costs.
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Former Coordinator of North Central Mississippi Crime Stoppers Arrested for Embezzlement

Jackson, Miss –Special Agents from the Office of the State Auditor (OSA) arrested Elijah Wilson, former Coordinator of the North Central Mississippi Crime Stoppers (NCMCS), after being indicted on two counts of embezzlement by a Marshall County Grand Jury.
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OSA Report Reveals MS Office of Capital Post-Conviction Counsel Has Serious Deficiencies

Jackson, Miss – The Mississippi Office of Capital Post-Conviction Counsel (CPCC) has a severe lack of internal controls, questionable hiring practices, and an uncertain oversight mechanism, according to a report released by the Office of the State Auditor.
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State Auditor’s Office Arrests Former Wayne County School District Employees for Embezzlement

Jackson, Miss—State Auditor Stacey Pickering announced that former employees of the Wayne County School District (WCSD) turned themselves in Friday morning to the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office.
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State Auditor Stacey Pickering is President of National State Auditors Association

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – Stacey E. Pickering, Mississippi State Auditor, was named president of the National State Auditor’s Association (NSAA) on Thursday, June 15, after being elected by members of the organization, succeeding Stephen Eells, State Auditor of New Jersey.
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Special Agent Campbell Receives “Top Cop” Honor

JACKSON – Josh Campbell from the Office of the State Auditor (OSA) was a recipient of the “Top Cop” award on Thursday, May 18, at the Mississippi Trade Mart. A resident of Belden, Mississippi, Campbell first joined the Office of State Auditor, County Division in 2011 after graduating from Ole Miss. He later transferred to the Investigations Division and graduated from MLEOTA.
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Office of State Auditor Arrests and Issues Demand Against Former Bookkeeper of South Pontotoc School

JACKSON, Miss. – On Thursday, May 18, 2017, Special Agents from the Office of the State Auditor (OSA) arrested Former Bookkeeper for South Pontotoc School Dianne Barefield on the charge of embezzlement. OSA then issued a demand of $62,646.29 to Barefield, which covered the loss, interest, and the cost of recovery.
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State Auditor Releases the FY 2016 Single Audit of Mississippi

JACKSON—April 27, 2017—State Auditor Stacey Pickering released the annual statewide Single Audit of Mississippi for Fiscal Year 2016, which ended June 30, 2016. The audit was conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Single Audit Act Amendments of 1996, the provisions of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (contained in Title 2 of the U.S. code of Federal Regulations Part 200), and the State of Mississippi’s audit requirements.
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State Auditor Arrests and Issues Demand Against Prentiss County Justice Court Clerk

JACKSON, Miss. – On Wednesday, March 8, 2017, Special Agents from the Office of the State Auditor (OSA) arrested Prentiss County Justice Court Clerk Donna Inman on the charge of embezzlement. OSA issued a demand of $6,335.92 to Inman which covered the loss, interest, and the cost of recovery.
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Auditor Pickering’s Statement Regarding Diamondhead

On Tuesday, January 31, 2017, the State Auditor met with four Diamondhead council members at city hall. The State Auditor’s purpose for this visit was to provide a copy of a recent performance review of the City of Diamondhead to these members.
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Former Alcorn County Sheriff, Nulls Enter Guilty Pleas

Jackson, Miss—State Auditor Stacey Pickering announces Charles Rinehart, former Sheriff of Alcorn county and Teddy Null and Pamela Denise Null, of Corinth, pled guilty to 2 counts of conspiracy to defraud and 2 counts of fraud against Alcorn county.
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Former Deputy Tax Collector of Tallahatchie County Sentenced

Jackson, Miss –State Auditor Stacey Pickering announces Deltra Young, former Deputy Tax Collector for Tallahatchie County, pled guilty to one count of embezzlement and was sentenced to serve 18 months of supervised probation in the Mississippi Department of Corrections.
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State Auditor Arrests and Issues Demand Against Former New Albany Municipal Court Clerk

JACKSON, Miss. – Special Agents from the State Auditor’s Office arrested former New Albany Municipal Court Clerk, Jennifer Galloway, after she was indicted on one count of embezzlement by a Union County Grand Jury. In addition to today’s arrest, Galloway was issued a demand in the amount of $334,680.64.
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Former MSU Employee Arrested for Embezzlement

JACKSON, MS – State Auditor Stacey Pickering announced today that former Mississippi State University (MSU) employee, Susan Holder, 63, surrendered herself to the Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Office on Friday, September 2.
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Former Deputy Clerk Arrested for Embezzlement

JACKSON—State Auditor Stacey Pickering announced today that former Pontotoc County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Clerk Stephanie Cooper, 33, surrendered herself to the Pontotoc County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday, September 6, on charges of embezzlement.
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State Auditor Releases FY 2016 Exceptions Report

JACKSON-State Auditor Stacey Pickering announced the release of the Fiscal Year 2016 Audit Exceptions Report.

This report is a legally mandated account of all misappropriated or misspent public funds and the actions taken by the State Auditor’s Office for recovery and return of those funds to the appropriate entities for FY 2016.
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Former City Clerk of Itta Bena Sentenced

Jackson, Miss –State Auditor Stacey Pickering announces LaCheronda Spivey, former City Clerk of Itta Bena, pled guilty to one count of embezzlement and was sentenced to serve 1 year of house arrest, followed by 5 years of post-release supervision.
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State Auditor Special Agents Arrested Former Cafeteria Manager For The Jefferson Middle School

Jackson, Miss –State Auditor Special Agents arrested former Cafeteria Manager for the Jefferson Middle School of the Columbia School District, Marquette Magee of Columbia, Miss. He is accused of embezzlement – fraud in public office and for alteration of records.
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State Auditor Arrests former Deputy City Clerk of the Town of Blue Mountain

Jackson, Miss –State Auditor Special agent arrested former Deputy City Clerk of the Town of Blue Mountain, Machelle Holliday. She was also served with a demand totaling $5,669.21.
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The Mississippi Court of Appeals exonerates State Auditor Stacey Pickering and the Office of State Auditor

Jackson, Miss – The Mississippi Court of Appeals overturned a Harrison County Chancery Court’s contempt ruling against the State Auditor and the Office of State Auditor. The initial charge of contempt was related to the subpoenaed records in the Department of Marine Resources investigation.
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State Auditor’s Office Arrests Former Part-Time Police Officer for the City of Macon

Jackson, Miss – Agents from the State Auditor’s office arrested former part-time police officer for the City of Macon and full-time security chief for the Noxubee County School District, Randy Dixon, after a Noxubee County Grand Jury indicted him for embezzlement.
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State Auditor’s Office Arrests Former New Houlka City Clerk

Jackson, Miss – Agents from the State Auditor’s office arrested former New Houlka Town Clerk, Twilla “Gay” Williams, after a Chickasaw County Grand Jury indicted for embezzlement.
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Former Youth ChalleNGe Academy Employee Sentenced

JACKSON, Miss. –Jerry Howard, 51, former Cafeteria Manager at the Youth ChalleNGe Academy at Camp Shelby, was sentenced to 8 years to serve, and 2 years suspended. The Youth ChalleNGe Academy is part of the National Guard Youth Guard Program and serves at-risk male and female youth ages 16-18.
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Former Lafayette County Employee Sentenced

JACKSON, MS – Heather Thomas Peters, of Oxford, pled guilty to embezzlement and was sentenced to seven years in custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, five years suspended, and two years to serve. Additionally, she was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $25, 981.43.
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State Auditor’s Office Announces 3 pleas, 1 Arrest, and Issues 1 Demand

Multiple subjects that were part of four separate investigations at the State Auditor’s Office had their day in court today. Additionally, a former Office Manager for Clarksdale Public Utilities was arrested and served with a demand.
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Court of Appeals Upholds Ruling on Former Mayor Greg Davis

The Mississippi Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling of the Hinds County Chancery Court in its judgment holding Greg Davis liable for funds he misappropriated while Mayor of Southaven.
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Former Mayor Of Terry Sentenced To Serve 40 Years In Custody Of MDOC

JACKSON, Miss. –Roderick Nicholson, Former Mayor of Terry, was sentenced to serve 40 years in custody of Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC), with 10 to serve. He was also ordered to pay restitution and court costs in the amount of $7,629.12.
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State Auditor Arrests and Issues Demands Against Former Mississippi Department of Transportation Employees

JACKSON, Miss. – Special Agents from the State Auditor’s Office and Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) Enforcement arrested former MDOT employees, Clyde Poole, Jr., 28, of Batesville; Connie Shegog, 30, of Batesville; and Torrie Willey, 36, of Batesville, after they were each indicted on one count of embezzlement by a Panola County Grand Jury.
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Mayor of Terry Resigns and Pleads Guilty

Jackson, Miss –Roderick Nicholson, Mayor of Terry, pled guilty to five counts of embezzlement, and advised the court he would resign from his position as Mayor of Terry effective immediately.
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Former MS Department of Health Employee Sentenced

Jackson, Miss –Kenyatta Smith, former Health Information Clerk for the Washington County Health Department, pled guilty to embezzlement and was sentenced to three years of supervised probation and ordered to pay restitution in the amount $653.25.
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State Auditor Issues Demand Against Former Neshoba County Administrator

Jackson, Miss – Special Agents from the State Auditor’s Office have served Benjie Coats with a demand totaling $39,341.50. Coats, the former County Administrator for Neshoba County, was indicted on one count of fraud in September.
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State Auditor Releases Contractual and Shared Services in K-12 Public School Districts Report

Jackson, Miss – The Office of the State Auditor has released its report on the contractual and shared services within Mississippi’s K-12 public school districts today. The focus of this report is to answer the question of efficiency related to contracts and shared services in K-12 public schools.
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State Auditor Arrests and Issues Demand Against Former Youth ChalleNGe Academy Employee

JACKSON, Miss. – Special Agents from the State Auditor’s Office served Jerry Howard with a formal demand in the amount of $157,385.40, and was served with a 4 count Forrest County Grand Jury capias indictment for embezzlement. Howard, 51, is the former Cafeteria Manager at the Youth ChalleNGe Academy at Camp Shelby. The Youth ChalleNGe Academy is part of the National Guard Youth Guard Program and serves at-risk male and female youth ages 16-18.
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State Auditor Issues Demand Against Former MS Department of Health Employee

Jackson, Miss – Special Agents from the State Auditor’s Office have arrested and served a demand for $3,671.10 to Kenyatta Smith, former Health Information Clerk for the Washington County Health Department. Smith was indicted on one count of embezzlement by a Washington County Grand Jury.
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State Auditor Stacey Pickering’s Letter on the MAEP

State Auditor and DA Announce Additional Plea Agreement in Public Corruption Investigation

Corinth, Miss-Joseph Lin McNair, Jr, Alcorn county vendor, pled guilty to false representation to defraud government. McNair received 5 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, placement in the MDOC intensive supervision program, followed by 4 years of post-release supervision, $5,000 in fines, and court costs in the amount of $631.50.
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State Auditor and DA Announces Additional Plea Agreements in Public Corruption Investigation

Corinth, Miss-William Paul Rhodes former Alcorn County Purchasing clerk, pled guilty to hindering prosecution, fraudulently obtaining public funds, and false representation to defraud government. Rhodes received 15 years in the custody of the MDOC with 10 of those years suspended, followed by 5 years of post-release supervision, restitution in the amount of $72, 466.28, $5,000 in fines, and court costs in the amount of $1,894.50.
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State Auditor and DA Announces Multiple Plea Agreements in Public Corruption Investigation

Corinth, Miss –Former Alcorn County Supervisor, Jimmy Dallan Nelms pled guilty to false representation to defraud government, fraudulently obtaining public funds, and embezzlement. Nelms, already in custody after his bond was revoked in an unrelated arrest, pled guilty before Circuit Judge Paul Funderburk. Nelms received 30 years in the custody of the MS Department of Corrections (MDOC) with 18 of those years suspended and 12 years to serve followed by 5 years of post-release supervision, and restitution in the amount of $308, 244.71, $5,000 in fines, and court costs in the amount of $3,157.50.
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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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