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franklin county times

AG investigates Sprint Auction

By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
May 15, 2001
Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore is investigating complaints against Sprint Auction Company of Philadelphia, which auctions equipment for many area county governments including Lauderdale County's.
Scott Leary, special assistant attorney general, said officials with the Attorney General's Office obtained a criminal search warrant and seized the company's records Thursday.
Leary would not release specifics on the case but said several entities were involved, including Sprint and some South Carolina-based companies. He said only Sprint's records have been seized.
Leary said people complained they had not received payment for their auctioned items. He said complaints came from the "whole spectrum" private companies and individuals as well as public entities like county governments.
Auctioneer Commission officials contacted their board attorney, who works with the Attorney General's Office, and notified the Public Integrity Division.
Meanwhile, the "Sprint operation in Mississippi is presently under the control of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in South Carolina," according to an announcement by Sprint officials.
The bankruptcy was filed there May 4. A hearing was held the following Friday and Sprint employees in Philadelphia are prohibited from releasing information, they announced.
Lauderdale County Engineer Neal Carson said the company owes Lauderdale $19,995 for three used tractors and one used garbage truck sold about a month ago.
Leary said he does not know how long the investigation will take.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3275, or e-mail her at sblackmon@themeridianstar.com.

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