Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Audit Finds $278K Embezzlement From Michigan Municipality

An audit of Stevensville Village, Michigan, has revealed an embezzlement scheme that cost the municipality $277,647. Authorities have not identified a suspect in the embezzlement at this time, but the audit refers to the Village Council failing to oversee its "former village manager." The former village manager is identified as Todd Allen Gardner, 49. Law enforcement officials are currently investigating the circumstances. The scheme is believed to have gone on since approximately December 2006. The audit revealed a "lack of checks and balances" in the way the municipality's finances were handled. Fund transfers were revealed from that showed monies moved into the Village's building account and then from there to Gardner's personal accounts, according to reports. Gardner also allegedly issued himself extra paychecks and paid for personal expenses directly with Village funds. According to authorities, Gardner used teh funds to pay for personal expenses, such as mortgage payments and utilities, as well as to take vacations and buy himself a car.

Read the story here and here.

Update: Gardner was found guilty by a jury of embezzling nearly $300,000 from the Village of Stevensville in July 2010. He was sentenced to 52 months in prison, which is scheduled to begin in March 2011. He must also pay full restitution. Gardner is appealing the case.

Read a more detailed story here.

Read about Gardner's conviction here.

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