Taylor Highlights Success of Fraud Investigations

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Columbus -

Auditor of State Mary Taylor today is highlighting the success her office is having identifying and investigating the misuse of public tax dollars. Taylor revealed that 20 special audit investigations conducted and released by her office this year have identified more than $10.9 million that is owed back to Ohio taxpayers.

Taylor is joining the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners to recognize International Fraud Awareness Week November 9 – 15. The week is dedicated to proactively taking steps to identify and reduce the impact of fraud by promoting anti-fraud awareness and public education initiatives.

“We are proud of the work of our Special Audit Section and Special Investigation Unit and their efforts to investigate and document fraud so that the perpetrators can be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”  Taylor said. “We will continue to devote resources to the important efforts of combating fraud and corruption in government.”

Special investigations conducted by the Auditor of State’s office have resulted in 13 criminal convictions in 2008. Forty-six active investigations are still under investigation throughout the state of Ohio.

Among the more notable special audits released this year:

1) Ministerial Day Care Association of Cleveland (Cuyahoga County) – Documents and other financial records failed to support the number of children the day care center reported as enrolled in order to receive inflated state funding.

The result: $7,506,365 the school owes the Ohio Department of Education.

2) Village of Lockland (Hamilton County) – Two employees established separate schemes to defraud the village.

The result: $316,497 owed back to the village. Two employees were charged with theft in office among other crimes.

3) Clark County Emergency Management Agency – The agency’s former director produced county Data Directories, sold them for a profit and deposited the proceeds into his private business bank account which he established and controlled.

The result: $81,541 owed back to the county. A former county EMA director is now facing four years in prison.

A complete list of all special audits is available online at www.auditor.state.oh.us.