RELEASE:

State Auditor Issues Demand Against Former Neshoba County Administrator

Jackson, Miss – Special Agents from the State Auditor’s Office have served Benjie Coats with a demand totaling $39,341.50. Coats, the former County Administrator for Neshoba County, was indicted on one count of fraud in September.

Coats, along with others, was at the center of an investigation by the State Auditor’s Office into an apparent overtime pay scheme. The individuals submitted in excess of 30,000 hours of overtime pay for which they did not work.

Tommy Gomillion, Former Neshoba County Payroll Clerk, Julie Faye Russell, former Neshoba County Purchasing Clerk, and Jill Watkins, former Neshoba County Comptroller, were all issued demands totaling more than $1.3 million and indicted on 7 counts of fraud each earlier this year.

“These individuals took advantage of the taxpayers of Neshoba County and created a scheme to defraud the local taxpayers of over $1 million,” said State Auditor Stacey Pickering. “Their employment has already been terminated by the County, and our office will continue to work diligently to recover these funds through restitution and their bond.”

10/1/15