Tracey Ray has been ordered to serve 18 months in prison and repay $314,889 after being sentenced today on federal charges she misappropriated the funds from the Ralls County community of Center, where she had been the city clerk. An audit in 2020 by State Auditor Nicole Galloway uncovered the scheme by Ray, who used the funds to pay credit card bills and other personal expenses. The audit began after a tip to the State Auditor's Whistleblower Hotline.
"Tracey Ray abused her position of public trust by stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the taxpayers of this small town, but she didn't get away with it because of our audit," Auditor Galloway said. "I am proud of the work done by the Public Corruption and Fraud Division in my office to uncover this theft and then to work with local and federal law enforcement to bring about justice in this case."
Since Auditor Galloway took office in 2015, her audits have uncovered more than $380 million in government waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement. Including the charges to which Ray was sentenced today, audits and investigations by her office have resulted in 79 criminal charges against public officials.