Mississippi woman convicted for wire fraud, obtaining more than $50,000 in grant funds meant to invest in the arts in Jackson

Published 4:44 pm Thursday, January 19, 2023

A former City of Jackson employee was convicted today for fraudulently obtaining tens of thousands of dollars in grant money intended for artistic projects in the City of Jackson.

According to court documents, Keyshia Sanders, 47, the City of Jackson’s former Constituent Service Manager, pleaded guilty to violating Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343, for engaging in a wire fraud scheme to fraudulently induce the disbursement of grant money for her own benefit.  The scheme involved the use of fraudulent invoices that caused the grant’s fiscal agent to disburse funds to Sanders in clear contradiction to the terms of the grant and Sander’s role as a City of Jackson employee.

The grant was intended to provide project support in the City of Jackson to invest in artists, artist collectives, and small arts organizations of color.

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In total, the fraudulent transactions caused by Sanders over the course of the scheme totaled a loss of approximately $54,000.

Sanders is scheduled to be sentenced on April 20, 2023, in Jackson, and faces a maximum penalty of twenty years in prison.  A federal district judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Mississippi State Auditor’s Office investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew W. Eichner is prosecuting the case.