Monday, August 20, 2018

Klauser Goes Home

Former Innovate Mississippi CFO Tanya Klauser went home less than a year after she was convicted of embezzling nearly $600,000 from her employer. 




Madison County Circuit Judge Steve Ratcliff sentenced Tonya Klauser to serve ten years in prison on August 30, 2017 after she pleaded guilty in June 2017 to two counts of false pretenses. She admitted stealing $598,143 from her former employer from 2010 to 2013.   However, Judge Ratcliff suspended six years of the sentence.  The Mississippi Parole Board released her from prison after she served 25% of the sentence as a non-violent offender.

Klauser pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of embezzlement in 2014 after her embezzlement at Innovate Mississippi was discovered.  U.S. District Judge Tom Lee sentenced her a year later to serve all of thirty days in prison, two months in a halfway house, and then six months under house arrest.

The indictment tells the story:

TONYA KLAUSER, herein "KLAUSER," from on or about and between August 3, 2010, up to and including August 30, 2013, both dates being approximate and inclusive, in Madison County, Mississippi,  she being then and there the agent, servant and employee of the aforesaid Innovate Mississippi, had in her possession and under her control a certain American Express credit card numbered originally xxxx-xxxxx4-2001; which said number was changed in June of 2011 to xxxx-xxxxxx-22009, which said credit card was issued to "Tonya Klauser-Mississippi Technology  Alliance," with  the understanding between KLAUSER and Mississippi Technology Alliance that said card was to be used to make personal purchases by KLAUSER with American Express to be paid for said purchases by KLAUSER with her personal funds. Notwithstanding said agreement or understanding, KLAUSER made personal purchases with said card in an amount of more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), and instead of paying American Express for said charges with her personal funds, she caused said amount to be paid by Innovate Mississippi through direct checks and automated clearing house payments by means of a certain false pretense or representation, to-wit: by representing to Innovate Mississippi that the aforesaid charges were made for and on behalf of Innovate Mississippi. Said representation was known by KLAUSER to be false when made, was made with the intent that Innovate Mississippi rely upon said false representation and Innovate Mississippi did rely upon such false pretense in paying the aforesaid amounts, and KLAUSER thereby obtained payment for her purchases by such false and fraudulent pretense, with her intent then and there to cheat and defraud Innovate Mississippi, in violation of Miss. Code Ann.§97-19- 39 (1972, as amended);

Earlier posts
 Klauser to serve four years.
Klauser pleads guilty.  
Former CFO indicted for embezzlement.
Innovate Mississippi refiles lawsuit against accountants.
Former CFO pleads guilty to embezzlement.
Innovate Mississippi CFO accused of embezzling $1 million.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

the irony of all ironies is that money is all smoke and mirrors. the feds print it and burn it 24/7

Anonymous said...

Tip of the iceberg in Mississippi.....auditing and finding out about the corruption is one thing, making sure they do time is the other.

Anonymous said...

Great attorney(s), lenient judge(s) or a combination of the two?

Anonymous said...

Is her husband still employed at MDA? Hard to believe he could be that oblivious to well over $600k appearing in their bank account, even broken out over several years.

Anonymous said...

Keep you mouth shut and serve a few months and all will be well.

Anonymous said...


These stories just won't end.

Steal 600k and get a parking ticket.

Anonymous said...

How is this any different than the CMU CREDIT CARD ABUSE reported by Kingfish in 2017?

Anonymous said...

White collar crime does indeed pay in MS.

Steal food to feed your kids and you will serve serious time. Steal millions from the taxpayers and you get probation or less than a year in jail. The Walkers have paid nearly zero in restitution for their crimes.

Anonymous said...

She is worth more than Bernie Evers just from her fraud. Bernie got life.

Anonymous said...

@5:45pm. POLITICS. It’s that simple. DA and State Auditor is scared of the BLACKMONS.

Anonymous said...

@5:45pm. Call Shad “snaggletooth” White, our green horn State Auditor. Don’t expect much from snaggletooth.

Anonymous said...

How does a married couple like that both land such high level exec positions in state government? I'm in the wrong business

Anonymous said...

One of the biggest cover ups in state government history. Innovate board tried to sweep this under the rug and move on. It took almost 8 years for this thing to get to court.....against the wishes of the governor, the Innovate board and many well heeled political donors.

Anonymous said...

5:18...once you reach that level of privilege you just assume it is God ordained to travel the world as a job perk. He probably never considered one time that his government employed wife was living like Princess Di. He probably enjoyed it.

Wow said...

It's pretty crazy to think we "lock and load" for idiots that dare try to go for loose change in our car, that people go to prison for much longer for stealing much much less.

White Collar crime pays.

Anonymous said...

FREE BERNIE!!!!

Anonymous said...

Free Bennie Evers. If she did less than a year. Bennie is past due to e freed.

Anonymous said...

Serious to the free Bernie.

Even though 'YOU' didn't do 'IT', "YOU" were the top of the totem pole in your company, therefor you gotta serve the time.

Wrong, too long here... free the man.

Anonymous said...

Really sick, system so called Justice. What a joke. That is someone's money she stole, put her thieving hand on.
Other places you loose both hands. Wussy system. Crime does pay!

Anonymous said...

What's the latest on the restitution?

The taxpayer money has been paid back?

Right?


Anonymous said...

@9:38pm. You are so right. Crime does pay, just come up to Canton and see how City Officials and CMU Officials are stealing hand over fist. Kingfish has reported on it, WLBT has reported on it, WAPThas reported on it, WJTV has reported on it, and many other news outlets. BUT in spite of all the publicity nothing is done because of chicken st%t elected officials scared to do their jobs. Mary for Auditor, Mary for DA, Mary for AG!!!! Why you ask, because she has bigger balls than any of the school girls we currently have serving in those positions.

Marlana Walters said...

I am beyond nauseous. I’m beginning to question everything about the court system - and I’m a Libra.

Anonymous said...

Why do you continue to beat up on Canton all of the Internal and External Audits of CMU have found no malfeasance. Personal purchases on CMU branded American Express cards were paid for by the individual who made those purchases in each and every case. The only charges from these cards expensed to CMU were authoried business expenses. If you don't understand how this works it's probably because you never had a company credit card.

Anonymous said...

Pickering was a coward, and part of the corrupt inner circle. He danced out the door into a fatter salary and less profile position. That's how you do it. They're all afraid of being exposed at any minute.

Anonymous said...

The moral of this story is that if you need some money, steal it from someone. Whatever you do, do not sell drugs to a dopehead idiot. Steal $600. Serve a little while in prison, never have to pay it or any of it back, your boss gets to keep his job, have some lesbian sex in prison, and everything is fine. Nobody ever mentions that her useless and talentless overpaid boss got to keep his job. In private industry, when someone steals that much money and the boss isn't an owner, the boss usually gets fired, too.

Anonymous said...

@7;14 - EVERY convict in the state of MS, with the exception ONLY of sex offenders, is entitled to the exact same sentence reduction as was granted to this woman. You can actually KILL somebody and get out of prison in only 5 or 6 years...but have sex on your 21st birthday with your 17 years, 11 months and 29 days old girlfriend (with whom you've been having sex for the past 2 years or so) and you'll serve every day of your 15 year sentence and THEN have to register as a sex offender (meaning you will NEVER be out of prison) for the rest of your life. Crazy, huh?

Anonymous said...

For the people wondering how a husband would not know the ole checking account had 600k in it.....obviously the woman was smart enough to not put it in that account. Reckon?

Anonymous said...

@10:06, the $600k (it was more than that) was spent, not saved. Even if she routed it through an account the husband didn't know about, that's over $600k of expenditures he should've seen. Her husband, the Chief Economic Development Officer of MDA, was either aware or oblivious. Neither is a good answer. Speaking of "aware or oblivious," Klauser was the only one who lost her job at Innovate Mississippi as a result of this.

@9:03, sorry to hear you (or your kid) can't refrain from statutory rape. Hope it was worth it.

Anonymous said...

@6:02

White collar crime does indeed pay in MS. Steal food to feed your kids and you will serve serious time. Steal millions from the taxpayers and you get probation or less than a year in jail. The Walkers have paid nearly zero in restitution for their crimes." Well said. In Mississippi, with so many judges and lawyers from the Oxford plantation (wink, nod) that there's no guarantee anyone will ever be held accountable.....and rivers of dirty money (meaning taxpayer's money) flow free.

Anonymous said...

11:35 Consider this. She had a 6-figure salary, so it wasn't as if she was expected to be destitute. Also, assuming she had somewhere to get money, my wife could spend ridiculous amounts of money on clothing and makeup and I wouldn't have any idea that it was expensive. I suspect a lot of that went on here. People of means, ill-gotten or legal often waste embarrassing amounts of money for things that to the regular Joe just look like clothes. It's almost sad, but funny, to think about a bunch of self-important people who waste that kind of money just so other self-important people will "know" what kind of clothes they are wearing. Meanwhile the rest of us are oblivious.


I'll also add that sometimes people who have ill gotten means are actually very generous with that money. Easy come/easy go and if you are on the receiving end, you have no idea where the money came from.

Anonymous said...

What a sweet thing to say hubby wubby

Anonymous said...

It's like this whole damn state is run by the mafia. In this case it's the political crime families that keep this place a sh t hole. Even the feds can't clean this mess up.

Anonymous said...

8:09, name one political crime family and its crime.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).


Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.


In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.


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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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