State Auditor Shad White has announced that special agents in his office have arrested Carol Jackson in Sunflower County after being charged with fraud.
She received a formal notice of $ 109,124.59 upon her arrest. The amount of the claim includes interest and investigation costs.
Jackson was the executive director of a nonprofit that purported to run a Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) program to provide meals to needy school children during the summer months.
She allegedly submitted fraudulent documents to MDE and stole over $ 40,000 from the program. She reportedly used the program funds to write over $ 20,000 in checks to herself, in addition to withdrawing thousands of dollars from an ATM at a local casino and spending nearly $ 2,000 on personal travel.
“We’ll hold the line when someone steals taxpayer money, but we’re even more motivated when someone steals children’s money,” Auditor White said. âThank you to the investigators who worked tirelessly on this case. ”
Jackson surrendered to special agents in the Sunflower County Sheriff’s Office.
The bail was set at $ 10,000 by the court.
If convicted, Jackson faces up to five years in prison and a $ 10,000 fine.
No bond covers Jackson as the executive director of a nonprofit organization running a taxpayer-funded program. Bonds are similar to insurance designed to protect taxpayers from corruption.
Jackson will remain responsible for the full amount of the claim in addition to the criminal prosecution.
Everyone arrested by the Mississippi Office of the Auditor General is presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.
District Attorney W. Dewayne Richardson’s office will pursue the case for the Mississippi Audit Department. The audit department does not have the authority to prosecute and must rely on local district attorneys or the Mississippi attorney general to adjudicate cases in criminal and civil courts.
In September 2018, two former Coahoma Community College employees were indicted in one of the largest embezzlement schemes ever seen in Mississippi after a year of investigation by the state auditor’s office and had 30 days to repay $ 981,600.64.
This case was continued in Coahoma County Circuit Court in January. And while the defendants called for a speedy trial, January’s motion for an extension was the fourth in three years.
According to State Auditor Shad White at a press conference at the Coahoma County Courthouse in 2018, the investigation found that Stacie Neal of the CCC Accounts Payable Office and Administrative Assistant Gwendolyn Jefferson embezzled approximately $ 758,000 from 2013 to 2017. The amount embezzled, plus interest of $ 194,000 and the cost of the investigation of $ 28,000 is in addition to the $ 981,600.64 that Neal and Jefferson must repay.
White said the auditor’s office only handles civil cases and District Attorney Brenda Mitchell handles the case and prosecution.
Suspicions of fraud or embezzlement can be reported to the auditor’s office online at any time by clicking on the red button on www.-osa.ms.gov.
Those with information on the misuse or theft of government funds can also anonymously call 1- (800) -321-1275 during regular business hours.