Canton, Miss. (AP) – Madison County has recovered an estimated $900,000 after an investigation found the county was defrauded out of millions of tax dollars, officials said Monday.

Sheriff Randy Tucker updated the Board of Supervisors on Monday about the investigation that began in March. WLBT-TV reported.

According to investigators, the county comptroller wired more than $2.7 million in three payments between Feb. 20 and March 19 to a fake bank account of scammers posing as Hemphill Construction.

The exchanges were made after the county asked someone posing as Jay Hemphill, president and CEO of Hemphill Construction, to update payment information for “Jay Hemphill” and “Hemphill Construction.” said for Hemphill, based in Florence, is working on phases two and three of the Reunion Parkway project. It is one of several major projects in the works to provide the county with additional east-west corridors and an additional access point from the interstate.

The county learned of the scam when the real company contacted them for payment.

About a third of that money is returned to the county, Tucker said.

“This is an ongoing investigation. Obviously, we’re still in the recovery process, and now there’s a criminal aspect that’s attached to it. So, with respect to our federal and state partners that are involved in the criminal aspect of this. is being handled, I can’t reveal too much because it’s under investigation and not really subject to public review,” Tucker said.

Tucker told the Board of Supervisors he was on track to collect at least $2.2 million in payments. It is not clear when the remaining amount will be received.

“There’s going to be a recovery process that’s going to take a long time. It’s at the point now that we’re catching water droplets, it’s spread so far,” Tucker said.

After the scandal came to light, the board has taken additional security measures to prevent similar incidents.

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