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Ex-leader of nonprofit pleads guilty to meal program fraud

June 14, 2022 GMT

INDIANOLA, Miss. (AP) — The former head of a nonprofit tasked with providing meals to needy schoolchildren in one of Mississippi’s poorest counties has pleaded guilty to fraud, State Auditor Shad White announced Tuesday.

Carol Jackson, who was the executive director of Sunflower County’s On Track Community Development Corporation, submitted a guilty plea June 6.

“Once again, we’ve seen money stolen from a program intended to help some of the poorest Mississippians,” White said in a news release.

Jackson was arrested by agents from the auditor’s office in August. The auditor said Jackson submitted fraudulent documents to the Mississippi Department of Education and stole more than $40,000 from the food program.

The auditor also said Jackson used program funds to write herself more than $20,000 in checks, withdrew thousands of dollars from an ATM at a local casino and spent nearly $2,000 on personal travel.

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Under Jackson’s leadership, the Moorhead-based nonprofit said its mission was to “strengthen community in rural Mississippi, especially the Delta region.”

District Attorney Dewayne Richardson’s office prosecuted the case. Sentencing will be set at a later date.

Jackson’s attorney could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.