PINCKNEYVILLE, Ill. – 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 October 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 is 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.
Harris is scheduled to make his initial court appearance on July 19, 2021, before U.S. Magistrate
Judge Reona Daly of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. If convicted, he
faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on each count. A federal district court judge will
determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory
An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty
beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The St. Louis Office of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Pinckneyville Police Department
are investigating the case, with assistance from the Perry County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Verseman is prosecuting the case.