Former Montgomery County Deputy Clerk Admits to Stealing Money
The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office has released Montgomery County’s annual audit report which describes a theft within the Trustee’s Office.
The theft was first discovered by the Trustee’s Office on December 22, 2017 when a taxpayer visited the office to verify that his 2017 property tax payment had been received; however, the property taxes were not reflected as paid. The taxpayer then presented a receipt showing his payment had been made with cash.
The deputy clerk who issued the receipt admitted to stealing the cash. Comptroller auditors determined that between January 25, 2016 and November 17, 2017, the deputy clerk voided nine property tax receipts totaling $12,461 and stole the cash. To conceal the thefts, the deputy clerk temporarily changed the mailing address for these properties to her personal address, so any delinquent tax notices would be mailed to her instead of the taxpayer.
After the deputy clerk admitted to stealing the money, her employment was terminated. The Trustee Office’s also contacted the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department.
The Comptroller’s Office has confirmed the entire $12,461 has been repaid to the Trustee’s Office. The former deputy clerk repaid $3,749, and Montgomery County Trustee Brenda Radford paid $8,712 from her personal funds to liquidate the cash shortage.
“The Trustee’s Office should ensure that adequate steps are taken to safeguard taxpayer money within the office,” said Comptroller Justin P. Wilson. “This includes carefully scrutinizing voided transactions and reviewing software audit logs. I am pleased to note the Trustee has indicated these changes have been made.”
The Montgomery County audit report contains no other findings.
If you suspect fraud, waste or abuse of public money in Tennessee, call the Comptroller’s toll-free hotline at (800) 232-5454, or file a report online at: www.comptroller.tn.gov/hotline. Follow us on twitter: @TNCOT
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