Today, State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Colleen Ladnier, a former deputy tax collector in Jackson County, after she was indicted for embezzlement by a local grand jury.
Ladnier is accused of intentionally overcharging Jackson County residents as they paid for vehicle license tags. She allegedly embezzled the extra money she collected. Ladnier purportedly used a permanent marker to obscure payment amounts on customer receipts and conceal her embezzlement scheme. Local officials called the Auditor’s office when security camera footage from the tax collector’s office showed Ladnier stuffing cash she had recently collected into her shirt.
Ladnier surrendered to Special Agents in Jackson County yesterday. Bond will be set by the court.
If convicted, Ladnier faces up to 20 years in prison or $5,000 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 Angel McIlrath.
“The Office of the State Auditor is committed to investigating and stopping this sort of theft,” said Auditor White. “Every local government office needs to put into place internal controls or cameras to make sure this kind of theft is detected and stopped quickly.”
Release from the Mississippi State Auditor.