Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

November 23, 2020
Stansbury Service Agency employee allegedly involved in embezzlement

Forensic accounting firm hired to review records and policies 

A Stansbury Service Agency employee has been accused of embezzlement and fraud.

The Stansbury Service Agency board learned on Nov. 13 that one of its employees may have been engaging in the theft and embezzlement of agency funds, according to a press release from Michael Johnson, chairman of the agency board.

The agency learned upon further investigation that embezzlement and fraud had “indeed occurred,” said Johnson in the press release.

Representatives of the agency fired the individual and contacted law enforcement, according to Johnson.

The former employee has been arrested and taken into custody but isn’t being identified at this time.

“It is too soon to tell how this will ultimately affect the agency and the Stansbury community generally,” stated Johnson. “Although this is certainly not good news. We are hopeful that at least some of the damage caused because of this theft ultimately will be remedied through insurance and through seizure and sale of property that was wrongfully purchased with public funds. The agency will be able to function and continue providing its essential services but this could, at least temporarily, impact future projects.”

After the arrest, the agency hired Rocky Mountain Advisory, a forensic accounting firm in Salt Lake City to investigate and provide the agency with a report regarding the extent of the theft.

“Part of RMA’s investigation consists of reviewing all of our financial records — bank statements, credit card statements and working with our staff to determine which charges and transactions are legitimate and which are fraudulent,” said Johnson. “RMA will then prepare a report of its findings. As you can imagine, that process takes time.”

The agency will also use RMA’s help in looking at policies and procedures in place to determine whether or not they are effective.

“Part of RMA’s engagement will consist of reviewing the agency’s existing policies and procedures to determine if we had appropriate policies and procedures in place or instead if we need additional policies and procedures,” said Johnson. “They will also determine if our existing policies and procedures were followed and if they were not followed, why that happened. The service agency will gladly implement changes.”

The service agency also contacted the office of the State Auditor and other public agencies for more assistance.

The investigation is ongoing.

“This substantial breach of trust by a Tooele County resident and one of our own employees came as a complete shock to the agency and we are sure it will come as a complete shock to this community as well,” Johnson said. “The agency will do all that it can to try and address this situation, correct any weaknesses in its processes and procedures, and protect the agency and the community from additional harm.”

 

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