Former Mississippi emergency manager arrested, accused of creating fictitious invoices and defrauding county thousands
Published 4:27 pm Wednesday, January 19, 2022
The former emergency manager for Covington County has been arrested after he was indicted for fraud and embezzlement by a local grand jury.
State Auditor Shad White announced today Special Agents from his office have arrested former Covington County Emergency Manager Gregory Sanford. A $17,063.59 demand letter was presented to Sanford upon his arrest. The demand amount includes interest and investigative expenses.
Sanford is accused of embezzling from the county by personally creating and submitting fictitious invoices for nonexistent work. The invoices were paid by the county with checks, and Sanford allegedly converted the money to his own personal use.
Investigators also determined Sanford submitted invalid timesheets for employees who reported directly to him. These timesheets claimed hours not actually worked by county employees, but they were approved by Sanford despite his knowing they were inaccurate.
“My office and our investigators will continue to take a zero-tolerance approach to fraud in this state,” said Auditor White. “That means investigating big and small cases alike.”
If convicted of all charges, Sanford will face up to 15 years in prison and $15,000 in fines. All persons arrested by the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The case will be prosecuted by the office of District Attorney Chris Hennis.
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.