Several Mississippi Department of Transportation employees made their first appearance in court Thursday. All entered pleas of not guilty.
They were arrested earlier this week, accused of being involved in a crime ring. At least five of them have resigned from their jobs at MDOT.
The indictments say the men requested fraudulent invoices and approved illegitimate charges so that at least one of the men could receive money. They then ordered car parts for private vehicles and worked on those vehicles while on state time.
The state alleges this was fraudulently paid for by Mississippi taxpayers.
"This may very well just be the tip of the iceberg though," said Yazoo County District Attorney James Powell, who says the problem also lies with MDOT.
"I wish there had been some better procedures for MDOT to uncover some of this," said district attorney James Powell. "The taxpayers deserve better accountability than what they're getting in this case."
MDOT said its existing processes work, but the agency is reviewing current procedures.
State Auditor Stacey Pickering says more people will likely be arrested in this case.
The men are scheduled to go on trial Dec. 3.
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