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Developer accused of misusing mall bond funds

David Watkins

David Watkins

JACKSON — The Secretary of State’s Office has found Jackson developer David Watkins took funds from a mall project and diverted it to a project to build a new police station in Meridian.

Yesterday, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann announced in a news release that Watkins and his company have been order to pay restitution of $587,084, plus legal interest and a civil penalty of $75,000. Hosemann says Watkins and company also must pay administrative and investigative costs totaling $18,047.

Hosemann says Watkins diverted about a half million dollars in bond proceeds for the Metrocenter Mall project in Jackson to close the deal on the police station project.

Watkins’ attorneys denied any wrongdoing while acknowledging the transfer of the money.

Watkins has 60 days to appeal the decision.

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