Itawamba County Welcome Center employee arrested

State Auditor Shad White Thursday announced that Special Agents from his office have arrested Mississippi Welcome Center supervisor Ann Miller after she was indicted for embezzlement and fraud by an Itawamba County grand jury. A $1,937.53 demand letter was presented to her upon arrest. The demand amount includes interest and investigative expenses.

Miller is accused of claiming and being paid for time she did not work at the Mississippi Welcome Center located on U.S. Highway 78 near Tremont in Itawamba County. She allegedly transmitted fraudulent timesheets to obtain payment from the Mississippi Development Authority—the state agency responsible for operating roadside welcome centers across the state. Miller’s indictment shows she is charged with fraud and embezzlement occurring in August and September 2021.

Ann Miller (Courtesy photo)

“Falsifying timesheets is not fair to taxpayers and is illegal,” said Auditor White. “We’re seeing an uptick in these kinds of cases. Those currently doing this should know that we are watching.”

Miller surrendered herself to Special Agents in Itawamba County Thursday. Bail is set by the court.

If convicted on both counts, Miller faces up to 25 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. The case will be prosecuted by the office of District Attorney John Weddle.

No surety bond covers Miller’s employment at the Mississippi Welcome Center in Itawamba County. Surety bonds are similar to insurance designed to protect taxpayers from corruption. Miller will remain liable for the full amount of the demand in addition to criminal proceedings.

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.

News Release

Bob Bakken

Bob Bakken is the most recognized and most trusted name in DeSoto County news and sports reporting, as readers continue to express their appreciation for his accuracy and fairness in the stories he writes. Bob provides content for DeSoto County News and occasionally is heard on the OB Pod podcast talking about area happenings. A former newspaper editor and writer, his award-winning background also includes television news producing, sports media relations, and radio broadcasting.

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