Friday, April 22, 2011

Anchorage School District Employees Face Embezzlement Charges

The Anchorage School District comes under fire again today (4/21) after officials reveal several district employees are facing charges for embezzlement.

One Chugiak high school employee has been charged with felony theft and falsification of business documents and three other employees from Chugiak, West and O'Malley elementary are under investigation.
Superintendent carol comeau says tens of thousands of dollars were potentially stolen, but police are still unsure when the theft began and exactly how much was taken.
While the money was taken from activity fees, fines, and other cash transactions; Comeau says all student have been reimbursed and the four employees in question have been fired.
"We're taking this very, very seriously," said Carol Comeau, superintendent for the Anchorage School District. "We appreciate the employees who stepped forward and reported it, and they took a risk, because they're their colleagues that they reported, but on the same token they knew it was wrong and they wanted it to stop."
Officials say hundreds of thousands of dollars pass through Anchorage's high schools annually and roughly 20 percent are cash transactions.
However despite the thousands of dollars in cash flowing through schools every day, Chief Financial Officer Chad Stiteler says the district relies primarily on a manual accounting system.
Cash transactions are documented by hand and the terminated employees were able to siphon student funds without raising any red flags within the system.
While Stiteler calls the district's financial controls "reasonable" the crimes were eventually brought to light by concerned parents and coworkers rather than a discrepancy in district records.
"We'll be moving away from paper receipts," said Chad Stiteler, CFO for the Anchorage School District. "We'll be automating it through our financial system so that we can centrally have a great emphasis of oversight, to be able to point out any concerns that we see, centrally, to the school supervisors."
The district is still working towards implementing an automated accounting system.

No comments:

Post a Comment