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Findings for Recovery for $16,887 Issued Against Former Olmsted Township Building Permit Tech Over Stolen Permit Fees
For Immediate Release
Columbus – Findings for recovery of $16,887 were issued Thursday against the former Olmsted Township Building Permit Tech, who was convicted earlier this year of pocketing permit fees, Auditor of State Keith Faber announced.
Heather Serrano pleaded guilty in February 2022 in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court to a felony count of theft in office, after the Auditor of State’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) determined she failed to deposit permit fees into the Township’s bank account.
Comparing permit receipts and bank deposits, SIU found Serrano had stolen 87 cash payments totaling $8,253 and 19 check payments totaling $2,134 between January 2018 and February 2019.
She was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to make restitution of $8,253 to Olmsted Township and $6,500 to the Auditor of State’s Office for its audit costs. Through early October, she had repaid $1,150, split between the Township and the Auditor of State’s Office.
Thursday’s finding against Serrano, totaling $10,387 in favor of Olmsted Township and $6,500 in favor of the Auditor of State’s Office, included additional misappropriations not covered by the court judgment.
A copy of Thursday’s full audit report is available online.
Since 2019, the Special Investigations Unit has assisted in 95 convictions resulting in more than $4.9 million in restitution (Map of SIU Convictions since January 2019). 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.
Contact: Marc Kovac