Former treasurer of Perry County Agricultural Society indicted for fraud

The former treasurer of the Perry County Agricultural Society (PCAS) is under federal indictment for defrauding the PCAS out of more than $100,000. Billy E. Harris, 47, is charged with 10 counts of mail fraud. Harris served as the treasurer of the PCAS from 2011-2018 and currently lives in St. Louis, Missouri. 

The PCAS operates all the festivals at the Perry County Fairgrounds in Pinckneyville, including the Perry County Fair. According to the indictment, from June 5, 2012, through Oct. 3, 2018, Harris used the PCAS bank account to pay his personal expenses and purchase items for his personal use. The indictment lists many of the personal items Harris allegedly purchased using PCAS funds, including: a WiFi router, Apple AirPods, a Himalyan salt lamp air purifier, Darth Vader and Yoda personalized pet tags, a pair of Star Wars men’s sleep pants, a floating pool fountain, a CPAP tube cleaning brush, and “beard lube.” Many of the items were allegedly purchased through Amazon. 

Harris was also charged with writing checks on the PCAS account payable to himself and his spouse and forging a PCAS board member’s signature on the checks. 

For more on Harris, please see this week’s print edition.