Ex-state museum worker accused of stealing $61K - WSMV News 4

Ex-state museum worker accused of stealing $61K

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A former worker at the Tennessee State Museum stole more than $61,000 in taxpayer money, according to an audit released by the Tennessee Comptroller's office.

Investigators said the former administrative services assistant used a scheme to falsify 26 invoices and submit them for payment to her personal account. These payments totaled $49,476.97.

Investigators also discovered the employee used a rental car for 15 months after her car had broken down and billed $12,415.97 to the Tennessee State Museum.

She told officials she would take existing vendor orders and reroute the payments, even using her own son's name.

Her employment has been terminated.

Investigators determined the administrative services assistant was a convicted felon on parole for a theft of property over $60,000. Museum officials were not aware of her conviction at the time she was hired in April 2011.

The former employer was originally hired by Adecco in November 2008 to provide temporary and contract employment to other state agencies, including the Department of Military, Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Department of Finance and Administration.

The employee disclosed three prior convictions on her Adecco USA application.

The Museum Commission is taking steps to require background checks on all future employees.

"The Tennessee State Museum helps preserve, protect and share our state's fascinating history," Comptroller Justin P. Wilson said in a news release. "We must also protect taxpayer dollars to ensure the continued success of this institution."

Vannessa Adamo, a spokesperson for the hiring agency, Adecco, said the woman was employed through Adecco from 2008 until 2011. Adamo said in a statement, In 2011, "the associate voluntarily ended her employment and has not worked for us since. During the period that the associate was employed by Adecco, all screening and hiring procedures requested by the client were followed."

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