Saturday, November 23, 2013

Superintendent Speaks About Henry County School Embezzlement in Virginia

-Investigators are releasing more information about the former Henry County Public School employee indicted for embezzling thousands of dollars from an elementary school.

Investigators say Tammie Terrell Millner, 41, was a bookkeeper at Axton Elementary when the embezzlement happened.

Henry County School officials say Millner worked for them for 11 years. But she resigned in April of this year. Now, they are just hoping they will be able to recover the money.

An internal audit at Henry County Public Schools exposed a huge loss, totaling more than $14,000.
"The school noticed it was an internal audit and notified us of that," said Eric Winn from theHenry County Sheriff's Office.

Investigators now say Millner embezzled that sum while working as bookkeeper at Axton Elementary School.

"It's a violation of trust...They have a person they trusted to handle this job and they were in essence taking money from the school," said Winn.

Winn says their investigation found that Millner was embezzling the money from June 2011 to April 2013. While they do not see this crime very often, they take it very seriously and so do school officials.

"There's always potential for fraud but the way that you fight against those kind of things is you work on strengthening your internal controls," said Jared Cotton, the superintendent of Henry Co. Public Schools.

Cotton says they already have training for employees that work with money. And they perform 'surprise' audits. He says they now plan to provide additional training including scenario-based exercises to prevent this type of crime from happening again.

While Cotton says they have not finished assessing all of the impact of this loss, he assures parents that it should not hurt the students at Axton Elementary.

"We certainly are using available funding to make sure that our students at that particular school have all their educational needs met," said Cotton.

Millner is facing three counts of felony embezzlement. She could face up to 60 years behind bars.

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