Finding for Recovery of $17,861 Issued Against Former Knox County Engineer’s Office Employee Following Theft, Fraud Convictions

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, August 30, 2022
Columbus – A finding for recovery of $17,861 was issued Tuesday against the former fiscal officer for the Knox County Engineer’s Office, who was sentenced to prison earlier this year after admitting he used a county credit card to make personal purchases, Auditor of State Keith Faber announced. 
Chester Woods III is serving a 15-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to felony counts of theft in office and insurance fraud, along with a weapon under disability charge in a separate case. 
The Auditor of State’s Special Investigations Unit determined Woods improperly used a county credit card to purchase tools, auto parts, and painting supplies for his own use, totaling $9,076. Knox County Sheriff David Shaffer’s office assisted with the execution of a search warrant that led to the recovery of numerous items illegally purchased with public funds. 
A finding for recovery against Woods was included in Knox County’s 2021 single audit, released Tuesday, seeking repayment of the $9,076 that was stolen and $8,785 in audit costs. 
He earlier was ordered by Knox County Common Pleas Court to repay $2,000 to Broadspire Insurance, after an investigation by the Ohio Department of Insurance found Woods committed additional fraud, receiving a settlement after submitting a false dental claim. 
Since 2019, the Special Investigations Unit has assisted in 85 convictions resulting in more than $2.7 million in restitution (Map of SIU Convictions Since January 2019: https://ohioauditor.gov/fraud/convictions_map.html). The team receives hundreds of tips of suspected fraud annually. Tips can be submitted anonymously online or via SIU’s fraud hotline at 1-866-FRAUD-OH (1-866-372-8364). 
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 Keith Faber, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies, and promotes transparency in government.