Today Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested former Pearl River County Deputy Tax Collector Stacy Treadaway and Joseph Edney, former investigator for the 11th Circuit Court District Attorney.
Stacy Treadaway was indicted for embezzlement by a grand jury assembled by District Attorney Hal Kittrell. She was also issued a formal demand worth $15,470.88 at the time of her arrest. The demand amount includes interest and investigative costs.
Treadaway is accused of manipulating computer software to embezzle public funds by voiding transactions when vehicle license tags and property taxes were paid with cash at the tax collector’s office. The scheme was reported when several local taxpayers noticed a delinquent status on bills paid in cash. Investigators suspect Treadaway illegally voided over $7,000 from November 2017 to June 2018.
Treadaway was arrested, transported to the Pearl River County jail, and then released from custody after posting a $7,000.00 bond. If convicted, she faces up to 10 years in the state penitentiary and up to $25,000 in fines.
In a separate case, a grand jury assembled by District Attorney Brenda Mitchell indicted Joseph Edney for embezzlement. He was issued demand letter at the time of arrest worth $14,180.43, which includes accrued interest and investigative costs.
Edney oversaw the pre-trial diversion program in Quitman and Bolivar counties. He allegedly embezzled over $3,500 by depositing money orders meant to pay fees into his personal bank account from August 2013 to March 2018. District Attorney Mitchell reported the information to the Auditor’s office when her staff noticed an accounting discrepancy.
Auditors were also able to identify money orders Edney failed to deposit, causing a loss of over $2,200 to the District Attorney’s office. This finding is a civil matter and not part of the criminal allegations levied against Edney.
Edney surrendered to Special Agents at the Bolivar County Sheriff’s Office. He was released from custody after posting a $10,000 bond and, if convicted, will face up to 20 years in prison or $5,000 in fines.
All persons arrested by the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Treadaway’s case will be prosecuted by District Attorney Kittrell’s office, and Edney will be prosecuted by the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office.
Edney is not covered by a surety bond. A $50,000 surety bond does cover Treadaway’s employment at the Pearl River County Tax Collector’s office. A surety bond is similar to insurance designed to protect taxpayers from corruption. Both will remain liable for the full amount of the demand each was issued in addition to criminal proceedings.
“There are apparently still people who think there are no rules that apply to them. Just to make it clear, you cannot use taxpayer money for your personal benefit,” said Auditor White. “You may think no one will notice or stop you, but it will only be a matter of time before you will be held accountable by the auditor’s office.”
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.
State Auditor Shad White Press Release