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Crime

Sunflower County woman arrested for stealing from needy children

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State Auditor Shad White announced Monday that Special Agents from his office have arrested Carol Jackson in Sunflower County for allegedly stealing over $40,000 that was intended to provide meals to needy children over the summer break.

Jackson was indicted for fraud and issued a $109,124.59 demand letter upon her arrest.  The demand amount includes interest and investigative expenses.

Jackson was the executive director of a nonprofit organization supposedly administering a Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) program meant to provide meals to needy schoolchildren during summer months. She allegedly submitted fraudulent documents to MDE and stole over $40,000 from the program. She purportedly used program funds to write herself over $20,000 in checks in addition to withdrawing thousands of dollars from an ATM at a local casino and spending nearly $2,000 on personal travel.

“We will hold the line when someone steals any taxpayer funds, but we are even more motivated when someone steals money intended for children,” said Auditor White. “Thank you to the investigators who worked tirelessly on this case.”

Jackson surrendered to Special Agents at the Sunflower County Sheriff’s office. Bail was set at $10,000 by the court.

If convicted, Jackson faces up to 5 years in prison and $10,000 in fines. All persons arrested by the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. District Attorney W. Dewayne Richardson’s office will prosecute the case.

No surety bond covers Jackson as executive director of a nonprofit organization managing a taxpayer-funded program. Surety bonds are similar to insurance designed to protect taxpayers from corruption. Jackson will remain liable for the full amount of the demand in addition to criminal proceedings.

Suspected fraud or misappropriation 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.

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Vicksburg Daily News