State auditor: Office identified 400% more stolen, misspent money than last year. Nearly $1 million returned to taxpayers

Published 6:42 am Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Mississippi State Auditor Shad White announced that his office identified nearly 400% more stolen and misspent taxpayer money last year than it did the year before.

White announced his findings in Tuesday’s Audit Exceptions Report for Fiscal Year 2021.

In the report White said the report of stolen, misspent monies comes in addition to the $55.5 million a pharmacy benefit management company has agreed to pay the state. The State Auditor’s office also 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.”

State law requires the Auditor’s office to publish an Exceptions Report every year. An audit “exception” is a violation of the law or an accounting error resulting in the misspending of public funds. Not all exceptions listed in the report are criminal violations.

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.