Taylor Kicks Off Fraud Awareness Campaign

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Columbus -

Auditor of State Mary Taylor announces a week-long fraud awareness campaign dedicated to informing Ohioans about the resources her office offers citizens to report allegations of fraud and misuse of public funds.

An integral part of Taylor’s public education initiative and agenda to protect Ohio taxpayers from fraud and abuse of state government funds is a legislative measure passed in the both the House and Senate that now awaits the Governor’s signature to become law. 

House Bill 166, drafted by Taylor, is a comprehensive plan to establish independent oversight, accountability and transparency in the way state government operates and spends tax dollars.  This bill will establish an independent state audit committee consisting of independent – qualified professionals; will require a systematic review of agency internal controls and improve the integrity of the state’s financial reporting. 

This structural reform will require allegations of fraud or misspending to be reported and not hidden.  Ultimately, House Bill 166 will help prevent the potential for fraud, waste and abuse of taxpayer dollars in state government.

“My office is fully equipped with a team of investigators, our Special Investigations Unit, who are professionally trained to investigate allegations of fraud, waste and abuse in government spending helping make your tax dollars count,” Taylor said. “As the state’s chief watchdog of tax dollars, I want the citizens of Ohio to know that they, too, can be a watchdog and report fraud.”

Taylor encourages anyone suspecting fraud or misspending of public dollars to contact her office toll-free at 1-866-FRAUD-OH (1-866-372-8364). Tips may also be submitted via the internet at www.FraudOhio.com.

The fraud hotline was established within the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) in 2003. Since that time, nearly 1,800 calls have been received. Some of those calls have resulted in criminal charges against individuals suspected of fraudulent activity.

Under the Taylor administration, the SIU has assisted in the prosecution of eight people charged with committing fraud. SIU is currently working another 14 active investigations throughout the state and are participating in 12 pending court cases.

Taylor is kicking off a week-long effort dedicated to providing Ohioans with more information to identify and report fraud in the public arena. The effort coincides with International Fraud Awareness Week (November 11th – 17th) sponsored by the Association of Fraud Examiners.

The Ohio Auditor of State’s Office is one of the largest accounting offices in the nation.  The office strives to ensure that all public funds are spent legally and appropriately and works aggressively to root out fraud, waste and abuse in public spending.