Monday, October 18, 2021

Itawamba CC & Others Busted in Fraud Scheme

 State Auditor Shad White issued the following statement.

  Today State Auditor Shad White announced Eureda “Edie” Washington and Joe Lowder have been indicted for defrauding the state’s Workforce Enhancement Training (WET) program. Special Agents separately delivered demand letters to Washington, Lowder, and two other individuals – Jennifer and David Schock – who do not face criminal charges. The Auditor’s office also issued demand letters to Itawamba Community College (ICC) for improperly approving WET program expenditures.

“I’m thankful for investigators’ work which put a stop to this improper workforce training spending,” said White. “Now is the time for policymakers to acknowledge there are not enough fraud-prevention safeguards in place in our workforce training program. Hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent on this every year. We need to be sure the money is being used appropriately.”

Washington is accused of submitting fraudulent documents to ICC and obtaining over $680,000 in WET funding for a furniture manufacturing company owned by Jennifer and David Schock. Since Washington had previous experience applying for WET program funds, she purportedly controlled the application paperwork submitted by the company and was paid a percentage of the WET funds it was awarded. The applications she submitted showed discrepancies like people being listed as a student in one class at the same time they were listed as an instructor in a different class. Payable by all three, an $864,918.72 demand was issued to Washington and the Schocks.

Lowder allegedly manufactured fraudulent documents meant to obscure a double-billing scheme. By intentionally billing both private companies and the Mississippi Community College Board (MCCB) for WET program expenditures, the department’s revenue increased while taxpayers lost around $10,000. Lowder was issued a $12,818.28 demand letter.

Additionally, ICC paid a large amount of WET funds to a private company without ensuring program requirements had been met. The college owes over $1.4 million to taxpayers for their failure to follow WET program guidelines.

No surety bond covers Washington, the Schocks, or Lowder. Surety bonds are similar to insurance designed to protect taxpayers in the event that public money is misspent. Washington and Lowder will remain liable for the full amounts of their demands in addition to individual criminal charges.

If you know of other fraud—including fake timesheets for workforce training programs or false billing for these programs—please report this to the Auditor’s office by clicking the red “Report Fraud” button at www.osa.ms.gov or via telephone during normal business hours at 1-(800)-321-1275.

 

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mississippi - Where grifting and stealing in government positions is expected.

Anonymous said...

Mississippi again providing evidence that gubmint cain't get right!

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED?

Anonymous said...

It is utterly embarrassing how much theft has been tolerated.
I'd bet these people almost convince themselves that stealing is just part of the salary and expectation.

Because it apparently is.

Anonymous said...

It never stops.

Anonymous said...

Hinds county is waiting

Anonymous said...

Say what you want about Shad... I don't care what he's running for. He is uncovering fraud and theft that has gone on for far too long. I hope he will choose to remain in this position. He has my vote!

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many people have lost sleep since Shad took over? He's coming for you so you better be ready.

Anonymous said...

How about the fraud scheme the Hinds County Board just past 3-2 ? A scheme to pay vaccinated employees with part of the 22 million but exclude those who aren't vaccinated. REPORT OF THAT SH!T !! And most of these employees DID NOT WORK during the lock down ! That money was reserved for those who DID KEEP THE COUNTY RUNNING during that time ! And we know who we are. This is wrong on just about every American level.

Anonymous said...

Can Shad charge Lumumba with pretending to be a Mayor?

Anonymous said...

I am a small government supporter, but damn, the stealing going on among our governmental employees and their contractors is just amazing, and depressing. The Auditors Office is one area of state government where more resources should be allocated.

Anonymous said...

@4:24pm - Can you explain what the “American levels” are?

Anonymous said...

5:49 you win!

Anonymous said...

@1:43 PM (Fixed it for you)

Mississippi - Where grifting and stealing in government positions is required.

Anonymous said...

That MCCB is at the core of covering for 100s of millions of dollars getting distributed in the name of all kinds of BS programs through 15 community colleges - all gravy for them and they cover for each other as well with the help of superintendents on their boards.....why do you think their Executive Director Andrea Mayfield disappeared like a fart in the wind? Not a word as to why or where she went. Hmmmm.

They are all washing so much dirty money through their foundations it's obscene....

Anonymous said...

3:44, his good employees are doing all of this work. Just like they have been for decades. Credit Shad for bringing this stuff forward. I have no idea what the precious place holder was doing. It’s not like the audit employees just stared working 2 years ago.

Anonymous said...

The MCCB has clean audits for years to include forensic audits. The MCCB former ED Mayfield worked closely with the auditors office on this case. The BOARD is not the problem. College presidents have traditionally been allowed to dictate to the BOARD …until mayfield took office and put accountability standards in place. On another note- mayfield retired because her husband has stage 4 cancer and treatments not effective. Shame on y’all!

Anonymous said...

College presidents proclaim they are AUTONOMOUS. Aka “don’t need or want supervision”. Look at how the presidents group known as the MACC ( not the MCCB) spends funds to pay for lobby groups and other shady items. The group of 15 presidents are the folks making decisions outside the rules. The Board is solid and would likely tell anyone, colleges need more supervision through a governance structure versus less supervision which currently exists with the MCCB as a coordinating board.

Anonymous said...

Right at 20 posts and the 'low hanging fruit' guy is still asleep.

Anonymous said...

And all the guy up at Holmes Junior did was mount a couple of tires on his personal truck and bought wunna them service station pizzas. .

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you pissed, 9:51. They won't let you have a donut?

Anonymous said...

And y’all still worried about Canton,…. When isTater going to call a special session to deal with this or anything else

Anonymous said...

4:24, I would agree....except it got voted down 3-2.

Anonymous said...

Don't the boards of directors for each of these colleges own some fiduciary responsibility? What the hell are they for? Thought it was their job to make sure that idiot or corrupt administrations don't run an arm of the state into the ground. Maybe they just love the little stipend they get and feeling important.

Each member of a college's do-nothing board needs to be held accountable for oversight. Instead, word has it that some colleges have already lawyered up their boards full-well knowing what they are, and have been doing.

Anonymous said...

The college trustees hire the college president at each college. The president hires college employees and has 100 percent responsibility for operations. The college president is responsible for everything that happens at the institution.

Anonymous said...

I think ICC president is the workforce committee chair for the presidents group. I also heard he was on a workforce panel for miss manufacture conference talking workforce. Hmmmm

Anonymous said...

flim flammers dont hide in the shadows
they hide in plain sight
nancy new all hugged up with governor bryant and all over the society page
chris epps an appointed head of a government agency moving and grooving through the legislature
bernie embers heading up a huge corporation
lamar adams all over town at all the big parties and ole miss events posing for photos
bernie madoff hanging around with the in crowd of wall street in new york

being in plain sight is all part of the con,,,,thats what people cannot seem to understand!!!!!
if you are going to get taken for all you are worth ,its not going to be some stranger who jumps out of the bushes and robbs you...its going to be a con job.
HAIL SHAD

Unknown said...

This is funny for CCs have be little kingdoms since day one. Most States that have much more money, people and development do not ever have huge system such as the CCs. There should be about 8 and be under central control. This will never happen for they are mainly political.

Anonymous said...

A few weeks ago I read a CL article listing the highest paid state employees (excepting our football coaches of course) and noticeably omitted were any of the community college presidents or executives. I know a few who would rival Carey Wright in salary, whose teachers are struggling to make ends meet while they make 6-7 times instructor salary. All the while enrollment at all these colleges is down down down.

Might be a good subject for a post. Maybe the taxpayers need to know they’re paying somebody more than double the governor’s salary to oversee institutions that are only a fraction of the size of our larger public school systems.

Anonymous said...

This is not news. The real news is when these amounts are paid in full.

Anonymous said...

@8:37am Ahem, you'd better believe fiduciary responsibility is attached to those college "trustees".

Anonymous said...

@9:36pm Why hasn't any of that been in the news?

Anonymous said...

I once knew the Finance Officer at Holmes Junior who also drew Athletic Director's pay and another Department Director's pay. That's THREE director level pay checks, PLUS he had furnished housing for his family for at least thirty years. Oh, and his wife was one of his employees. Mighty valuable guy.

Anonymous said...

And more breaking news…..

Others will
Be sued per news station wlbt

https://www.wlbt.com/2021/10/21/additional-names-could-be-added-list-those-who-receive-mdhs-civil-complaints/

Anonymous said...

9;35 nails it. he's correct..thats exactly how it happens
but the waterheads on this site dont pay no mind cause 99% of them dont have anything to get swindled out of to begin with.


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