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Aberdeen Audit Issues Findings Against Indicted Fiscal Officer
Columbus – A state audit released today issues a $24,875 finding for recovery against a former Village of Aberdeen (Brown County) fiscal officer who was recently indicted on charges including theft in office.
The report from Auditor of State Dave Yost’s office holds former Fiscal Officer Nathan Pfeffer accountable for 25 utility and income tax deposits that never made it to the village’s bank account. Pfeffer was responsible for the safekeeping and deposit of all village funds.
“Weak internal controls open the door for dishonest public employees to fatten their wallets at the expense of taxpayers,” Auditor Yost said. “While the courts deal out justice, I urge Aberdeen’s leaders to establish a thorough review process for the handling of incoming dollars.”
Using special audit procedures, auditors discovered that Pfeffer never transmitted 16 utility deposits totaling $21,580 to the bank during 2014 and 2015. Of the deposits, 14 totaling $21,227 were recorded in the village’s accounting system and marked as deposits in transit.
During 2016, Pfeffer neglected to transmit an additional $3,295 from nine municipal income tax deposits, which were also logged as deposits in transit. He submitted his resignation to village council at the end of that year.
He was indicted on May 31, 2017, in Brown County on third-degree felony charges of theft in office, tampering with evidence and two counts of tampering with records. A second pre-trial hearing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Aug. 7.
In a separate finding, auditors learned the village lacked a formal written policy for depositing funds. The audit noted five of six incoming payments tested from 2014 were not deposited in a timely manner. Likewise, delayed deposits were identified for 13 of 16 payments tested from 2015.
Putting off making deposits “increases the risk that theft or loss will occur and not be detected in a timely manner,” auditors wrote.
A full copy of this report is available online.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,900 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.