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.
Dana Sue Beaman was arrested by agents from the Auditor’s office in July 2017 after she was indicted on multiple counts of embezzlement. Beaman stole over $110,000 from taxpayers during her employment at the Hancock County Justice Court by altering court fee payment records. The Auditor’s office has already recovered $100,000 by filing a claim against Beaman’s surety bond. She will resume repayment when she is released from prison.
Special Agents from the Auditor’s office arrested Christy James in September 2019 after she was indicted for embezzlement. James pled guilty to stealing nearly $40,000 by manipulating computer software used by the Wayne County Justice Court. The entire amount of the demand – $51,531.80 – has already been recovered by the Auditor’s office.
In addition to these cases, the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor returned over $1.8 million of stolen public money to taxpayers in 2019. The Auditor’s office has also worked with prosecutors across the state to be sure stealing from taxpayers does not go unpunished, with judges sentencing embezzlers and fraudsters to over 300 years in state custody since Auditor White took office.
“We continue to request the strongest possible sentences at the end of our investigations to send the message that theft of public funds will not be tolerated in Mississippi,” said Auditor White. “Since I have taken office, criminals we investigated have been sentenced to hundreds of years in prison. I want to thank investigators in my office for their hard work in 2019 and let taxpayers know we are ready to be even tougher on theft of taxpayer dollars in 2020.
Suspected fraud can be reported to the Auditor’s office online any time by clicking the red button at www.osa.ms.gov or via telephone during normal business hours at 1-(800)-321-1275.