Former Madison County Employees Conspire to Steal County Funds
The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office, working in conjunction with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, has released an investigation resulting in the indictments of Donna Williams, a former accounts payable clerk in the Madison County Finance Department, and Eric Skinner, Madison County’s former facilities maintenance supervisor.
The Comptroller’s Office launched its investigation after the director of the Madison County Finance Department alerted our office to alleged financial improprieties.
Investigators determined that Williams and Skinner conspired to receive county funds through an unauthorized landscaping project. Williams falsified two invoices and disbursed two county checks totaling $6,075, which she and a friend later cashed at a local bank.
Williams paid Skinner $1,800 for allowing her to receive the unauthorized funds out of the county Maintenance Department budget. Williams kept the remaining $4,275.
Skinner acknowledged his involvement in the scheme and refunded the county $1,800 when he resigned on December 13, 2017.
Comptroller investigators also found that Donna Williams used the county’s procurement card (credit card) to make 12 payments toward her personal cable bill totaling $2,206.93. Williams repaid $1,076.40 with personal money orders; however, she still owes the county $5,405.53 ($4,275 plus $1,130.53). Williams’ employment was terminated on September 25, 2017.
On July 2, 2018, Donna Williams and Eric Skinner were indicted by the Madison County Grand Jury for theft over $1,000 and official misconduct.
“This case points to the necessity of separating money-handling responsibilities within a government,” said Comptroller Justin P. Wilson. “The same person should not be involved in making purchases, approving bills, processing payments, and examining all procurement card statements. There must be another level of control to detect fraud and reduce its risk.”
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
Media contact: John Dunn, Public Information Officer, 615.401.7755 or email@example.com