California Highway Patrol employee accused of embezzlement

A recent case brought to light the effectiveness with which audit solutions can uncover fraud – but it also pointed out that abuse of funds is easy to miss when audits aren't performed with great frequency or regularity.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, Bijan Azar of Vacaville, Calif., was recently arrested on suspicion of embezzling funds from his employer, the California Highway Patrol. Azar has been accused of transferring CHP funds into his personal bank account without authorization.

CHP's Director of Communications Fran Clader said that the alleged crime was uncovered during an investigatory financial audit, according to the source.

"The CHP has systems in place to periodically perform inspections and self-audits of CHP operations," Clader said, as quoted by the San Jose Mercury News. "As a result of information obtained during the internal review, the CHP began an immediate investigation into the theft of state funds."

The Merced Sun-Star reported that Clader expressed disappointment on behalf of the CHP regarding Azar's alleged actions. The source also pointed out that the Azar worked for the organization in an explicitly financial role, as a senior accountant.

Although no details as to the length of Azar's alleged scheme have been released, one wonders what might have happened had accounts payable audits been performed sooner.

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