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Audit Finds Former Dog Warden Stole Over $26,000 from Dog Adoption and Donation Funds
Columbus – Auditor of State Keith Faber today issued a $26,267 finding for recovery against Dawn Croft, former Dog Warden for the Columbiana County Dog Pound.
“Theft in office will simply not be tolerated,” Auditor Faber said. “Fortunately, because of the coordinated effort between the Columbiana County Prosecutor’s Office and our Special Investigations Unit, this former employee has repaid the stolen money and will spend time in jail for her crimes.”
Croft was responsible for gathering cash and checks, preparing pay-ins, delivering deposits, and filing deposit slips for all adoption fees, dog sponsorships, and donations. Between January 1, 2015 and April 30, 2016, Croft took $26,267 of the fees and donations for her personal use.
Auditors identified the theft through the following means:
· 75 duplicate receipts totaling $6,916 were not included in any pay-in, or deposit
· 13 duplicate receipts were prepared for $130 less than the check amounts
· 48 checks were deposited with the Treasurer’s office, which were substituted in the deposit for cash received totaling $6,655
· 4 undercover agents made donations totaling $750 in cash that were not included in deposits with the Treasurer’s office
· $10,823 was received from 164 individuals through PayPal and given to Croft in cash, but did not have a receipt prepared and was not included in the pound’s deposits
· $993 was unaccounted for through other miscellaneous schemes
A grand jury indicted Croft, and she pled guilty to one count each of theft in office, money laundering, and tampering with records. Judge Megan Bickerton then sentenced her to serve 12 months in prison.
Croft paid restitution in full prior to sentencing and the Auditor’s office considers this a finding for recovery repaid under audit.
A full copy of the audit 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 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.