Several employees from the Mississippi Department of Transportation have been indicted on nearly three dozen counts, including embezzlement and conspiracy. The workers were allegedly part of a corruption ring.
A total of six MDOT employees from the Yazoo City office and a repair shop owner were arrested for allegedly buying car parts with taxpayer money, then selling them for a profit.
"These individuals have been involved in defrauding the taxpayers of Mississippi," said Mississippi state auditor, Stacey Pickering.
The auditor's office is looking to recover from the workers between $1600 and $4500.
"This is one of the larger single arrests of rings of this nature that we've had," Pickering said.
Officials say the alleged conspiracy started about a year ago.
"We were able to purchase from them in an undercover capacity," said Pickering. "It's important for anybody that works for the government to know that if they expect to defraud the public, they will be held accountable.
MDOT executive director Larry L. "Butch" Brown says he hopes these arrests send a message to MDOT employees and all public workers. He said the agency is cooperating with authorities in this ongoing investigation.