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Final Finding for Recovery of $47,646 Issued Against Former Hartford Independent Ag Society Office Manager Following Theft Conviction
For Immediate Release
COLUMBUS – A finding for recovery of $47,646 was issued Tuesday against the former office manager for the Hartford Independent Agricultural Society, who was convicted of theft and related counts, Auditor of State Keith Faber announced.
The total included additional amounts not ordered as part of Brooke Williams-Browning’s restitution and sentence in Licking County Common Pleas Court, after she pleaded guilty to felony counts of theft, forgery, and tampering with records.
The finding was included in a special audit of the Hartford Independent Agricultural Society, which details the investigation into Williams-Brownings’ wrongdoing. A copy of the full report is available online via Search Audits.
The Auditor of State’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) and Licking County Sheriff’s Office launched a criminal investigation into the matter in February 2020. SIU ultimately determined that Williams-Browning made 265 improper purchases totaling $37,814 using the Society’s credit or debit cards. Auditors also found seven checks totaling $5,820 that were payable to Williams-Browning or Cash but had no proper public purpose. An additional $880 in petty cash could not be located, following her arrest.
Williams-Browning was indicted in July 2022 and was sentenced in December 2022 to 30 days in jail and three years of community control, with a possible prison term of 12 months if she violates post-release control terms. She was also ordered to make restitution of $39,184.69, which she paid prior to her sentencing hearing.
The remaining balance owed as part of Tuesday’s finding for recovery is $8,462.
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 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.
Contact: Marc Kovac