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Special Audit Details Payroll Scheme, Conviction Involving Former Corrections Commission of Southeastern Ohio Fiscal Officer
For Immediate Release
COLUMBUS – The former fiscal officer for the Corrections Commission of Southeastern Ohio was convicted and sentenced earlier this year to two years of probation, following an investigation by the Auditor of State’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU).
The investigation into the payroll scheme by Jacqulyn (Brandi) Sanders is detailed in a special audit released Tuesday, following Sanders’ sentencing in January 2023. A copy of the full report is available online via Search Audits.
SIU launched its investigation in February 2020, after irregularities in Sanders’ sick and vacation leave accruals were identified during an internal review by the Commission and brought to the attention of the independent accounting firm completing the Commission’s regular financial audit.
As fiscal officer, Sanders was responsible for entering Commission employee payroll data. SIU determined that Sanders, on multiple occasions, used accrued leave but did not enter the hours into the Commission’s payroll system and on one occasion gave herself an additional accrual of leave not authorized, overstating earned sick and vacation leave balances by 71 hours and 52 hours, respectively.
The issue was discovered before Sanders received her severance payout (she was fired in May 2020), so the Commission did not suffer a monetary loss as a result.
Sanders pleaded guilty in December 2022 in Athens County Common Pleas Court to a misdemeanor count of tampering with records and was sentenced to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine, with both suspended, pending successful completion of probation.
Since 2019, the Special Investigations Unit has assisted in 104 convictions resulting in more than $5 million in restitution (see?Map of SIU Convictions?since January 2019). 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 5,900 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.
Contact: Marc Kovac