A former Jackson County tax collector is being charged with embezzlement. Colleen Ladnier is accused of intentionally overcharging residents as they paid for their vehicle tags, and then pocketing the money. State Auditor Shad White says she allegedly used a permanent marker to hide the payment amounts on receipts and conceal her scheme. Local officials called the Auditor’s office when security footage from the tax collector’s office showed her stuffing cash she’d recently collected into her shirt.
Ladnier surrendered to Special Agents in Jackson County. Her bond will be set by the court.
If she’s convicted, Ladnier faces up to 20 years in prison or $5-thousand in fines.
“The Office of the State Auditor is committed to investigating and stopping this sort of theft,” said Auditor White. “Every local government office needs to put into place internal controls or cameras to make sure this kind of theft is detected and stopped quickly.”
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.