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Forgery and Undocumented Credit Card Use Uncovered in Cleveland Heights-University Heights City Schools
Columbus – Strong internal controls at the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District (Cuyahoga County) caught a $3,000 theft by a former employee. An audit of the district released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost confirmed the theft, as well as an additional $1,400 in unsupported credit card purchases.
“Bottom line – you can’t cash someone else’s check,” Auditor Yost said. “Too often, a lack of good management opens the door for theft. But in this case, the district’s system worked and taxpayer dollars were protected.”
The district issued a $3,039 payroll check to an employee on December 2, 2011. The original recipient reported the check lost, and it was reprinted and cashed on December 12, 2011. Former Payroll Staff Assistant Kandace Stone discovered the original payroll check in the district’s safe and deposited it into her personal bank account on November 13, 2012. A finding for recovery was issued against Stone in the amount of $3,039.
This isolated incident was detected by the district’s fraud software on November 14, 2012. Stone was indicted on April 10, 2013 on one count of theft and two counts of forgery, and was ordered by the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas to make full restitution to the district.
Additionally, auditors found that eight district employees made credit card purchases totaling $1,409 which did not include appropriate documentation. Without proper documentation, it is not possible to determine the public purpose of the purchases. Findings for recovery were issued against the eight employees. As of the date of this release, $879 was repaid by seven employees, leaving a $530 finding for recovery against former Payroll Supervisor Sherice Kado outstanding.
A full copy of this audit may be accessed online.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,800 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.