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Special Audit Details Investigation into Former Miami Township Trustee, Convicted of Pocketing Cemetery Payments
For Immediate Release
COLUMBUS – A finding for recovery of $26,668 was issued Tuesday against a former Miami Township trustee, who was convicted of stealing funds from the Logan County township, Auditor of State Keith Faber announced.
Ronald Furrow has repaid the total, including $28,168 in court-ordered restitution and an additional $650 in improper reimbursements auditors identified.
The findings are included in a special audit that details Furrow’s crimes. The full report is available online (ohioauditor.gov/auditsearch/search.aspx).
The Auditor of State’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the law enforcement division of the office, received a complaint in November 2021 alleging Furrow had instructed that a check for payment of concrete footers installed under a headstone at Fairview Cemetery be made out to him instead of Miami Township.
Furrow served as an elected township trustee since 1982 and as the cemetery sexton for more than a decade, with full and sole control of cemetery operations. From Jan. 1, 2015, through July 29, 2022, SIU determined Furrow failed to remit $12,091 in payments for burial-related costs to the township. SIU also identified an additional $650 in reimbursements checks to Furrow that lacked adequate supporting documentation to substantiate that they were for a proper public purpose.
Furrow pleaded guilty in February in Logan County Common Pleas Court to a felony count of grand theft and a misdemeanor count of soliciting or accepting improper compensation. He was ordered to make restitution, including $14,577 in audit costs. He also was barred from public service for seven years, subject to one year of community control, and ordered to pay additional restitution of $1,500 directly to the family of a deceased person buried at the township cemetery.
Since 2019, the Special Investigations Unit has assisted in 109 convictions resulting in more than $5.8 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.