The Mississippi State Auditor’s Office showed more than 400% stolen or misspent taxpayer money in FY2021 than in FY2020. 

In the Auditor’s office Audit Exceptions Report for FY2021 they found nearly 400% more stolen or misspent taxpayer dollars in that year than the one before. This comes in addition to the $55.5 million a pharmacy benefit management company has agreed to pay the state after being investigated by the Auditor’s office.

The report also showed the Auditor’s office returned nearly $900,000 to taxpayers during the last fiscal year.

“I want to thank the investigators and auditors for their tireless work this year,” said Auditor White. “Every ounce of credit for the work you read about in this report goes to them.”

It is required by state law that the Auditor’s office publish the Exceptions Report yearly. This outlines any violations of the law or accounting errors that resulted in the misuse of public dollars.

Not all exceptions listed in the report are criminal violations.

According to the report the Investigations Law Enforcement Division issued forty-one formal demands for a total of $2,529,685.78 and recovered misspent or embezzled funds totaling $881,810.50.

The Performance Audit Division assisted in the collection of funds totaling $87,781.43. These collections involved delinquent court assessment fees for municipalities and have been received and confirmed by the Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) for remittance to the State Treasury.

The report includes all new demands issued in the last fiscal year and updates on old, unsettled cases. The 2021 Exceptions Report is organized by county so taxpayers can easily search for cases near them and can be found online at the Auditor’s website under the “Reports” tab.

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.