Former employees accused of stealing $228,000 from South Pittsburg Housing Authorities
Two former employees of the South Pittsburg Housing Authority and the South Pittsburg Elderly Housing Authority are accused of stealing at least $228,980 over a four-year period.
A special investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office says the money was stolen and misappropriated by former accounting director Jan Brooks and former public housing manager Leslie Jackson.
Former accounting director Jan Brooks used at least three schemes to steal at least $127,980 from the housing authorities. These schemes included making at least $100,368 in personal purchases on a housing authority credit card. These purchases included hotel stays in Las Vegas, New Orleans, and at a casino in Mississippi.
Officials say that Brooks issued as least $25,122 in checks to herself, and issued $2,490 in fraudulent payroll checks to herself.
They also allege Jackson stole $5,405 from the South Pittsburg Housing Authority, which included a $2,755 trip to Chicago for a conference that was never attended, and personal purchases on a Lowe’s account totaling at least $2,649. These purchases included lumber and other supplies to build a pavilion next to the swimming pool at her home.
On June 1, 2015 the Marion County Grand Jury indicted Brooks on one count of theft over $60,000 and one count of theft over $10,000. Jackson was indicted on one count of theft over $1,000.
Investigators also discovered that $95,595 in cash collections had been stolen from the two housing authorities.
Brooks and Jackson were responsible for collecting cash and making deposits. Both women admitted they were aware that bank deposits had been manipulated.
“The amount of theft in this case is alarming,” Comptroller Justin P. Wilson said. “While it’s easy to blame the criminal behavior of two individuals, housing authority officials must also take the necessary steps to shore up a number of issues which allowed these thefts to occur.”
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