Over $700,000 stolen from Tennessee counties unrecovered
NASHVILLE, TN (WRCB) -- As of June 30, county government officials across Tennessee had not recovered nearly three quarters of a million dollars stolen from their coffers.
Details about the missing money are available in the Comptroller's annual cash shortage report, which was released this week.
Information about the cash shortages was compiled from the annual financial reports and special reports for the 89 Tennessee counties that are regularly audited by the Comptroller's Division of Local Government Audit and the six counties audited by private accounting firms.
More than $213,000 in missing county funds was identified during the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2012.
The report details how much money was stolen from each county, as well as a description of when the thefts were discovered, how the thefts occurred, how much money has been successfully recovered and legal action taken against those responsible for the thefts.
"These thefts are a reminder that local government officials need to be vigilant about the potential that taxpayer dollars can be stolen," Comptroller Justin P. Wilson said. "The best safeguard against theft of public funds is the use of proper accounting and bookkeeping techniques. Quite often, county government officials believe there's no way theft would occur within their organizations – then they are shocked when it does. As the old expression goes, ‘trust, but verify.'"