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Expense Fraud in the News

By on March 25, 2015 in Industry News with 0 Comments

Expense fraud is a continuing problem that can put the financial health of any company at risk. Recently, there have been several cases in the headlines regarding expense fraud. Some of the most notable of those cases are highlighted below.

City of Charlotte

Following the conclusion of an audit, the City of Charlotte has decided to tighten rules regarding employee travel reimbursements. The audit concluded that reimbursement payments were handled improperly for several executives. As part of the audit, it was found that the Charlotte Fire Department’s deputy chief was wrongly reimbursed for $2,750 worth of expenses. The deputy chief was incorrectly reimbursed for $1,600 in airfare and hotel fees when he had actually used a payment card issued by the city to book the flight and hotel, according to the audit. Although that was the single-largest overpayment, the audit covered nearly almost 40 executives and non-executive employees.

Expense Fraud Leads to Jail Time in Huntington Beach

A woman from Huntington Beach was actually sentenced to federal prison after it was discovered that she embezzled almost $3.5 million from a former employer. In addition to a prison term of 63 months, Patricia Francisco was ordered to repay the embezzled funds. The embezzlement took place over a period of 15 years, during which Francisco stole money from the firm where she worked as a bookkeeper. She used several means for misappropriating the funds, including creating bogus expense vouchers for other employees, then obtaining those checks and depositing them into her own account.

Taxpayers in Ann Arbor on the Hook for Expensive Meals

The former CEO of the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority, Michael Ford, was recently found to have billed the agency for approximately $40,000 in taxpayer-funded meals over the course of the past five years. Records indicate that Ford would frequently pay the tab for guests, including his staff, community leaders, and local business people. Over a five-year period, Ford billed the agency for approximately 900 occasions.

Lobbyist Disclosure Bill Headed to the Senate in New Mexico

In New Mexico, a bill requiring lobbyists to disclose more information has passed the House and has been sent to the Senate. Additionally, the bill would require that such information would remain on the Secretary of State website for a longer time period. An amendment was also introduced by Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard. The amendment included a requirement for lobbyists to file estimated lobbying expense reports. Although the amendment failed, the bill passed the house unanimously.

Representative Resigns amid Questions over Mileage Expenses

Illinois Rep. Aaron Shrock has resigned following questions over tens of thousands of dollars in mileage reimbursements that he received for his personal vehicle. Over roughly a four-year period, Shrock billed the federal government for approximately 170,000 miles on his personal vehicle. When he later sold that vehicle, however, the vehicle had less than 80,000 miles on the odometer. Shrock has also repaid the government thousands of dollars after using funds from his official budget to redecorate his office to resemble the popular PBS historical drama “Downton Abbey.”

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