New law stiffens penalties for fraud, embezzlement of public funds
A law that will take effect July 1 increases penalties for public employees involved in fraud or embezzlement of taxpayer money.
State Auditor Shad White announced today that those public employees who obtain $10,000 or more of taxpayer money will no longer be eligible for pretrial diversion programs. This is part of Senate Bill 2552 that was passed by both chambers of the Legislature and signed by the governor.
Pretrial diversion programs have been used as a way to prevent a conviction for a crime from appearing on a person’s criminal record. When SB 2552 becomes law on July 1, two of the most common crimes investigated by the State Auditor’s office will be added to the list of those crimes ineligible for pretrial diversion. This law will complement a 2019 law which prevents people convicted of embezzlement from holding public office.
“This year, at my request, the Legislature passed a bill to toughen the penalties on people who steal taxpayer dollars, and the Governor has now signed it into law,” said Auditor White. “I want to thank Rep. Nick Bain, Sen. Daniel Sparks, legislative leadership, and the governor for their work making this bill the law of the land.”
You can read the full text of the bill by visiting the Legislature’s website.
“I will continue to work for you in holding fraudsters accountable,” White said, “but I will also work with the Legislature and the governor to forge agreements between them and improve our laws as well.”