Charges dropped, hearing continued in Wayne Co. embezzlement case

Charges dropped, hearing continued in Wayne Co. embezzlement case
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 suspects who were indicted by the state auditor for embezzlement from the Wayne County School District were in court Monday.

Robert Dean, Ronnie Crane, and Freddie Mills were in Wayne County Circuit Court for a plea hearing.

According to Logan Reeves, Public Relations Coordinator for State Auditor Stacey Pickering's office, the plea hearing was continued until October 3rd.

Reeves also said that conspiracy charges were dropped against Craine and Mills due to the statue of limitations. Both are still charged with embezzlement.

Original reports: 

Dean is the 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.