A bill passed by the Mississippi Legislature, in partnership with State Auditor Shad White, will keep public employees who stand accused of embezzlement from participating in pretrial diversion programs.
White explained that those who embezzle or fraudulently obtain more than $10,000 of taxpayer money will not be able to take part in the programs which have been used as a way to prevent a conviction for a crime from appearing on a person’s criminal record.
“This year, at my request, the legislature passed a bill to toughen the penalties on people who steal taxpayer dollars, and the Governor has now signed it into law,” White said. “I want to thank Rep. Nick Bain, Sen. Daniel Sparks, legislative leadership, and the Governor for their work making this bill the law of the land.”
SB 2552, taking effect on July 1, will complement a 2019 law that prevents those convicted of embezzlement from holding public office.
“I will continue to work for you in holding fraudsters accountable,” White said, “but I will also work with the legislature and the governor to forge agreements between them and improve our laws as well.”
Fraud and embezzlement, the two crimes made ineligible for pretrial diversion, are two of the most common crimes investigated by the State Auditor’s office.