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Former Pike County CVB Executive Director Pleads Guilty, Agrees to Make Restitution of $6,805.54
For Immediate Release
Contact: Marc Kovac
Columbus – The former head of the Pike County Convention and Visitors Bureau pleaded guilty Tuesday in Pike County Common Pleas Court to two criminal counts in the theft of more than $6,800, Auditor of State Keith Faber announced.
Sharon Manson admitted to misdemeanor charges of attempted theft in office and illegal compensation and agreed to make restitution totaling $6,805.54. She was also fined $250 on each count and ordered to complete 30 hours of community service.
The Auditor of State’s Special Investigations Unit determined that Manson had improperly issued payroll checks to herself and secured a short-term loan using the Pike County Convention and Visitors Bureau’s account.
The fraud was just one of the issues identified by state auditors as part of their review of the bureau’s financial activities for fiscal years 2017 and 2018 – the findings list included questionable reimbursements, electronic transfers, and withdrawals, as well as improper purchases, cash advances, interest, and late fees on the bureau’s credit card.
Since 2019, the Special Investigations Unit has assisted in 81 convictions resulting in more than $2.7 million in restitution (Map of SIU Convictions Since January 2019: ohioauditor.gov/fraud/convictions_map.html). The team receives hundreds of tips of suspected fraud annually. Tips can be submitted anonymously online or via SIU’s fraud hotline at 866-FRAUD-OH (866-372-8364).
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.