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Taylor: Former School Administrator’s Alleged Theft in Toledo Approaches $660,000
Largest case of public school fraud since Taylor took office
Toledo - Auditor of State Mary Taylor today released a special audit of the Toledo City School District that details how Dan Burns, a former chief business manager at the district, directed $659,999 in fraudulent payments to two Toledo-area businesses.
The special audit found that Burns, a retired 30-year veteran of the Toledo City School District, initiated fraudulent purchase orders and payments to Superior Offset Supplies for $658,428 in copy machines and consulting services the district never received, as well as a duplicate payment for a previously paid invoice.
John Briggle, owner of Superior Offset Supplies, is also identified as sharing responsibility for the amount his business received.
Taylor’s report also reveals that Burns improperly ordered another local business, Corporate Intelligence Consultants, to conduct criminal background checks of five private residents of Toledo, costing local taxpayers $1,571.
“As Auditor of State, I am committed to exposing the fraud and theft of public tax dollars,” Taylor said. “My team of investigators and special auditors will continue to work with local authorities to assist in the prosecution of this case, returning taxpayer dollars to the classrooms of our school children, where it belongs. Local residents have the right to know when dishonest public employees steal public tax dollars to line their own pockets.”
Following his retirement from the Toledo school district in 2006, Burns was hired as the chief operating officer at the Cleveland Municipal School District.
An employee of the Cleveland Municipal School District approached Taylor’s office in November 2008 during the course of a routine financial audit regarding a “suspicious new vendor”. Upon further review, Taylor launched separate investigations of Burns’ financial activities at both the Toledo and Cleveland school districts on December 17, 2008.
Last month, Taylor revealed $181,019 in fraudulent payments made to Superior Offset Supplies and Corporate Intelligence Consultants where Burns served as Chief Operating Officer for the Cleveland Municipal School District.
To date, Taylor has released details of two separate special audit investigations of Burns’ financial activities at both school districts and identified $841,018 in missing public tax dollars.
On December 3, 2009, Cuyahoga County prosecutors used the information outlined in Taylor’s audit reports to indict Burns on eight charges including theft in office, tampering with records and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. Briggle was also indicted on eight charges including theft, tampering with records and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.
A copy of the complete report is available here.
The Ohio Auditor of State’s office is a leader in the accounting and auditing field, earning prestigious national honors from the Government Finance Officers Association, the National White Collar Crime Center and the National State Auditor’s Association.
Deputy Press Secretary