Former Tunica County Airport director charged with embezzlement
State Auditor Shad White has announced that former Director of the Tunica County Airport Eric Konupka has been arrested after being investigated by Special Agents from the Auditor’s office. Konupka was indicted for embezzlement by a local grand jury. He was also issued a demand letter showing he owes over $9,000 to Tunica County taxpayers.
Konupka is accused of using the Tunica County Airport’s debit card for his own personal expenses. He allegedly used the airport’s card to withdraw cash from ATMs and purchase food, automotive supplies, energy drinks, and cigarettes. Konupka also purportedly used the card at casinos and restaurants near Tunica.
“Whether it’s the largest public fraud in the state or an employee using a government purchasing card to buy a few thousand dollars’ worth of items for themselves, we will hold the line on any misuse of taxpayer money,” said State Auditor Shad White. “We must rely on prosecutors to make the decision about when to charge someone with a crime, so I’m grateful for the cooperation between investigators and prosecutors in this case.”
Konupka was arrested by law enforcement officials in south Florida. He has been issued a $9,259.55 demand letter. The demand amount includes interest and investigative expenses. The Mississippi Attorney General’s Office will prosecute him.
If convicted, Konupka faces up to 20 years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines. All persons arrested by the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Konupka’s previous employment at the Tunica County Airport is covered by an insurance policy. This insurance policy is designed to protect taxpayers from corruption.
Suspected fraud can be reported to the Auditor’s office online at any time by clicking the red button at www.osa.ms.gov or via telephone during normal business hours at 1-(800)-321-1275.