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Alcorn County tax collector steps down after pleading guilty to embezzling funds

Photo courtesy of Alcorn County/website

The Alcorn County tax collector has stepped down from his position after pleading guilty to attempting to defraud the government on Friday.

Larry Ross entered a guilty plea to one count of false representations to defraud the government in Lee County Circuit Court after an investigation discovered the tax collector was embezzling funds.

According to court documents, special agents found that Ross — who has held the position of tax collector for over a decade — was collecting funds through recycled unused vehicle license tags and fraudulent bills of sale.

Ross was arrested in December 2020 and charged with two counts of embezzlement and one count of making a fraudulent statement by a grand jury.

Now, Ross has been issued a suspended five-year sentence with five years of supervised probation, as well as an order to pay restitution of $2,495.67 to Alcorn County and $2,689.58 to the Mississippi state auditor’s office.

The state auditor’s office has since revealed that Ross had contributed to nearly $50,000 in funds being lost in the county through the waiving of late penalties connected to the licensing and registration of vehicles alone.

Ross has also been required to step down from his position as tax collector and withdraw from the race for reelection.

The Alcorn County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to appoint an interim tax collector on Monday. Heather Crabb is currently expected to take up the vacant role in November as she is the only candidate running for the position.

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