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Special Audit Includes Finding for Recovery of $40,784 Against Former Addyston Water Board Clerk Over Missing Utility Payments
For Immediate Release
COLUMBUS – A finding for recovery of $40,784 was issued Thursday against the former Water Board Clerk for the Village of Addyston in Hamilton County after utility payments were not deposited into the village’s bank account, Auditor of State Keith Faber announced.
Jackie Buchert was indicted in June 2022 on two felony counts of theft in office and tampering with records but was ultimately found to be incompetent to stand trial, and the charges were dismissed. The finding for recovery against her remains unpaid and is included in a special audit that details the Auditor of State’s investigation into the misappropriated funds.
The full report is available online (ohioauditor.gov/auditsearch/search.aspx).
Buchert was hired as Addyston’s Water Board Clerk in July 2015 and was responsible for collecting monthly payments for water and sewer services provided to residential and commercial users.
The Auditor of State’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the law enforcement division of the office, reviewed utility receipts dated Jan 1, 2016, through July 31, 2019, after state auditors found discrepancies in payment records and bank deposits.
SIU determined Buchert collected but failed to deposit $40,784 in utility payments. She also purposely omitted some of the collected utility payments from deposit spreadsheets.
Since 2019, the Special Investigations Unit has assisted in 111 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.