Former Wayne County School District employees indicted for embezzlement

Former Wayne County School District employees indicted for embezzlement
A South Mississippi grand jury indicted four Pine Belt residents for their alleged roles in a multi-million dollar scheme. (Photo source: Raycom News Network)

WAYNE COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Three former employees of the Wayne County School District turned themselves in Friday morning and were indicted on embezzlement charges, according to the state auditor.

State Auditor Stacey Pickering announced that Robert Dean, former Superintendent of WCSD, was indicted on charges of embezzlement and conspiracy to commit the crime of embezzlement, between April 5, 2011 and June 1, 2011. The Office of the State Auditor also issued a demand in the amount of $12,359.00 to cover the loss, interest, and the cost of recovery.

Ronnie Crane, former Principal for Buckatanna School, and Freddie Mills, former custodian at Clara School, were indicted for conspiracy to commit the crime of embezzlement for their parts in the embezzlement scheme, according to Pickering.

According to a news release issued by Pickering's office, Dean allegedly instructed various individuals to produce and pay fictitious invoices for painting services, which were never performed at WCSD, in order to satisfy a personal debt owed to Crane.

"These individuals abused their position for their own personal gain while stealing from the children of the Wayne County School District,"  Pickering said. "My office will continue to protect the taxpayers of Mississippi by holding these officials accountable for their actions."

Dean, Crane, and Mills are scheduled to appear in Wayne County Circuit Court on August 7, 2017.