Audit finds more than $100,000 stolen from TN local governments - WSMV Channel 4

Audit finds more than $100,000 stolen from TN local governments

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Fifteen county governments in Tennessee had funds stolen from them last year, according to an annual report on fraud from the state comptroller's office.

In all, more than $106,000 was stolen from Tennessee local governments, with the largest amount in Henry County, where a former bookkeeper was accused of stealing more than $30,000.

Another one of the biggest cases occurred in Montgomery County.

"We had a school employee in Montgomery County who was making personal purchases with school funds. About $19,000 was misappropriated there," said Director of Local Government Audit Jim Arnette.

While theft is never good, some might say Tennessee was lucky the $106,000 stolen was not more. After all, there were 95 counties audited.

Some years, the comptroller's office finds more than that stolen from just one office, including a former secretary for the county mayor in Lake County who was accused of stealing $200,000 over a period of several years by writing checks to herself.

"As the comptroller likes to say, we're the money cop. That's our job - is to not only perform audits for all of these counties, but to look for fraud, waste and abuse while we're out there," Arnette said.

Since 1999, most of the fraud has been discovered through tips to the comptroller's office. If you have any fraud to report, call 1-800-232-5454.

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