Former Fiscal Officer Indicted for Theft of Nearly $100K
Columbus – A former fiscal officer is facing theft in office charges for allegedly stealing almost $100,000 from Liberty Township in Guernsey County.
A grand jury indicted former Fiscal Officer Kathy Leach today on five counts of theft in office (Four F3; One F4) and one count of tampering with records (F3).
“This investigation exposed a number of schemes used to cheat the taxpayers of Liberty Township,” Auditor of State Dave Yost said. “My office will continue to partner with the county prosecutor until justice is secured for the community.”
An ongoing special audit by Auditor Yost’s Public Integrity Assurance Team identified unauthorized township checks totaling $86,913 that Leach allegedly paid to her husband and their business, Old 21 Roadside Storage. She was fiscal officer of the township from 2004 to 2016.
Evidence shows that Leach also paid herself $7,876 in fraudulent health insurance reimbursements from August 2012 to April 2015 and submitted fictitious medical records to the township as supporting documentation. The audit confirmed she did not have health insurance coverage at the time.
Investigators and forensic auditors discovered additional reimbursements of $3,230 that Leach paid to herself in 2015 for purchases of a printer and office supplies. But the township did not have a printer until her successor took office, and there was no documentation to prove the purchases were for the township.
In addition, records show that Leach allegedly used the township’s Staples credit card to make $1,732 in unauthorized purchases that were unrelated to township operations. The items purchased included ink cartridges, gift cards, holiday cards and candy.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 6,000 state and local government agencies. Under the direction of Auditor Dave Yost, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies and promotes transparency in government.