Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Dupe of the Day

State Auditor Shad White issued the following statement.

Today State Auditor Shad White issued a demand to former Bay Springs City Clerk Randy James for suspected embezzlement. Interest and investigative costs are included in the $325,561.84 demand letter. This case ranks as the ninth largest demand for embezzlement in the last decade in Mississippi.

The investigation revealed James was duped by international scammers to divert city funds overseas in hope of winning money in a lottery scheme. At the direction of the scammers, James created a secret bank account and transferred money to it from the city by creating and paying fraudulent invoices from fictitious companies for services which never occurred.

From August 2017 to April 2018, James complied with international scammers by transferring funds in increments of $1,950 to $50,000 to the secret bank account. He then wired that money to scammers. Local bank officials became skeptical of the transfers initiated on behalf of Bay Springs by James and reported the transfers to city leaders.

Approximately $300,000 was stolen from the City of Bay Springs in less than one year. The most recent financial report submitted by the city to the Auditor’s office indicates an annual budget of approximately $2.7 million.

“This loss is massive for a town the size of Bay Springs – over 10% of their annual budget. Our small towns cannot afford to lose a single penny right now,” said State Auditor White. “My office will work to hold fraudsters like Randy James, who knowingly steal your money, accountable with zero tolerance for this kind of theft.”

A $50,000 surety bond covered James during his employment at Bay Springs. A surety bond functions as an insurance policy for taxpayers against embezzlement and fraud by public officials. The bond improves the chance for taxpayers to recover stolen public money.

James remains subject to potential criminal prosecution. He is presumed innocent until allegations against him have been proven in a court of law.

Fraud, embezzlement, and other public corruption can be reported to the Office of the State Auditor online any time by clicking the red button at or via telephone during normal business hours at 1-(800)-321-1275.


Anonymous said...

Did he get confused? This is not the Lottery Mississippi was looking for...

Anonymous said...

Are you sh***ing me? This really happened? Who watches the City Clerk's funds disbursement/movement activities on a regular basis from within the city and/or county? Anybody other than after-the-fact forensic audits from outside? If this is true, empty out city hall and start over...

Anonymous said...

you cant beat a government job-

Anonymous said...

We need to know more. Was this a Nigerian prince type of scam or what? Wow is all I can say.

Anonymous said...

This guy would make a great legislator.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused. The article states that James was "duped" by the scammers. Being an idiot and doing stupid things is grounds for termination but not criminal. How can he be charged with embezzlement??? What am I missing?

Anonymous said...

No way this is all true. This guy cant be so dumb as to fall for the Nigerian prince scam. My bet is this money is in an acct he or someone he knows closed has access to. This lottery statement is just a cover up.

Anonymous said...

This guy needs to be put in jail.
I'm on a fixed income.
I'm struggle to pay Federal, State, City & Car Tags.
I eat ramen noodle 5 times a week to live within my budget.
I can't even afford cable TV.
This is disgusting. A Federal, State, City job is a sacred trust.

Anonymous said...

"fraudsters" lol

Anonymous said...

If that is Mr. James in the photo above, I'm guessing the "international scammers" narrative is a cover-up. He doesn't strike me as the type to fall for an obvious scam like that.

I think the money went for a tailored tux, a nice watch and a bunch of fruity drinks, among other things...

Theca Jones of the Roguish Gent Podcast said...

Wait, this isn't Jackson...

Anonymous said...

12:32 -- I know, "fraudsters."

Shad is trying so hard to sound like a normal person, despite his fancy education.

Don't get me wrong, I like the guy. But he absolutely does have a "How do you do, fellow kids" vibe about him.

Anonymous said...

relevant meme.

Anonymous said...

Randy James is a fairly common name. Does anyone know where this guy is from originally?

Anonymous said...

12:17 Get a second job and spend time earning money rather than trolling internet sites, and you might be able to drop the ramen noodles to only a couple of times per week.

Anonymous said...

I call BS on the whole deal. I know Randy and this story is total
BS. The money maybe going overseas but into Randy's account. Shad,
I hope you're smarter than this.

Anonymous said...

2:31 PM I will spell out my point so a 3rd grader will understand.
(1) My point is that I could live like a kings if my taxes were lower.
(2) Mine & yours taxes would be lower if all this theft of government funds was stopped.
I don't need to get another job to support the theft.

Anonymous said...

If you eat Ramen noodles five times a week, at least your bowels move on a regular basis. So, there's that.

Anonymous said...

12:58 - What's up with your sophomoric criticism of the auditor who is obviously doing his job at a higher rate than the prior one. He could look and act like YOU for all I long as he does the job.

Anonymous said...

Don't cities do a yearly audit by an independent CPA Firm to catch miss use of city funds?????

Anonymous said...

I would have voted for the state legislature as the biggest dupe of the day. Way to waste more of our money on another losing lawsuit that you already know will fail. What a bunch of crooks!

Anonymous said...

Politicians and elected officials are so much smarter and work so much harder than us average people. Sure wish the government would grow and take control over more of my life.

Anonymous said...

Theca Jones said...Wait, this isn't Jackson...

You're right, Rogue. Jackson has no money to invest or send to a foreign account. What little it does have is being spent to defend lawsuits and pay project managers.

Anonymous said...

Seems like the feds would want to talk to Stacey Pickering about how much did he know, why he looked the other way, and why'd he run off all of a sudden? Shad is nickel and diming at the moment, but huge scandals will be uncovered on the horizon.

Theca Jones of the Roguish Gent Podcast said...

2:40 AM

You're up at 3AM responding on a message board?

Tweakin' Theaker said...

Theaker: Why the deflection? Argue the point. It's none of your business what time I get up. But I do hope it bothers you.

Anonymous said...

This guy took too much risk...Some people have made me aware of a much more safer investment,,,,HERE SHE GOES...I x'd out the phone number because I'm greedy and want to be in on it 1st...but the internet will give it to you

Subject: Nigerian Astronaut Wants To Come Home
Dr. Bakare Tunde
Astronautics Project Manager
National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA)
Plot 555
Misau Street PMB 437 Garki, Abuja, FCT NIGERIA

Dear Mr. Sir,


I am Dr. Bakare Tunde, the cousin of Nigerian Astronaut, Air Force Major Abacha Tunde. He was the first African in space when he made a secret flight to the Salyut 6 space station in 1979. He was on a later Soviet spaceflight, Soyuz T-16Z to the secret Soviet military space station Salyut 8T in 1989. He was stranded there in 1990 when the Soviet Union was dissolved. His other Soviet crew members returned to earth on the Soyuz T-16Z, but his place was taken up by return cargo. There have been occasional Progrez supply flights to keep him going since that time. He is in good humor, but wants to come home.

In the 30 plus-years since he has been on the station, he has accumulated flight pay and interest amounting to almost $ 78,000,000 American Dollars. This is held in a trust at the Lagos National Savings and Trust Association. If we can obtain access to this money, we can place a down payment with the Russian Space Authorities for a Soyuz return flight to bring him back to Earth. I am told this will cost $ 8,000,000 American Dollars. In order to access the his trust fund we need your assistance.

Consequently, my colleagues and I are willing to transfer the total amount to your account or subsequent disbursement, since we as civil servants are prohibited by the Code of Conduct Bureau (Civil Service Laws) from opening and/ or operating foreign accounts in our names.

Needless to say, the trust reposed on you at this juncture is enormous. In return, we have agreed to offer you 20 percent of the transferred sum, while 10 percent shall be set aside for incidental expenses (internal and external) between the parties in the course of the transaction. You will be mandated to remit the balance 70 percent to other accounts in due course.

Kindly expedite action as we are behind schedule to enable us include downpayment in this financial quarter.

Please acknowledge the receipt of this message via my direct number 234 (0) 9-234-xxxx only.

Yours Sincerely, Dr. Bakare Tunde

Astronautics Project Manager

Anonymous said...

For those of you who keep asking if that is Mr. James, it appears so...the Laurel-Leader newspaper has a picture of an identical individual ata marina with yachts in the background...waiting on the lottery check

Anonymous said...

Let me explain. If I hire you to work for my company and you fall for one of those Nigerian scams, and take money from my company in hopes of getting millions of dollars from a fake lottery, THEN YOU HAVE STOLEN MONEY CRIMINALLY. YOU GET TO GO TO PRISON. AND YOU NEVER GET YOUR $20 MILLION FAKE LOTTERY MONEY. You don't ' just get fired. '
But thanks for providing a good example that there are people out there who are dumb enough to fall for such nonsense.

robert redd said...

I recognize THIS Randy James from a questionable prior affiliation. Not to Judge or. condemn but he could be involved with something like this

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