Bryant: Mississippi, Tough on Fraud

State Auditor Phil Bryant was the guest speaker at the Meridian Rotary Club Monday. Bryant talked about the new emphasis on corporate and government financial accountability. He said Mississippi is ahead of the game in pursuing tougher standards.

"A new law mandating that anyone embezzling funds in the state of Mississippi, government funds particularly, will spend at least one year in prison," said Bryant. "We're the only state in the nation now that has a mandated sentencing law for government officials who embezzle taxpayers money."

Bryant said the law would even apply to cases where suspects plead guilty.

His office, along with the State Treasurer, Attorney General and Secretary of State, also has an ongoing investigation into whether WorldCom violated any state laws.