City officials in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, are preparing to further investigate a possible embezzlement scheme by a municipal employee.
According to NWCN-TV, the city has not released the name of the suspected employee, but the individual has worked in the Coeur d'Alene finance department for ten years. Officials also stated that the amount of the stolen funds is not yet known, but they expect it to be thousands of dollars. An accounts payable audit of the city's general fund will be conducted to determine exactly how much money was taken. City attorney Mike Gridley said the person worked in the payroll department and was giving herself extra checks, reports the news source.
The scheme included fraudulent wire transfers from a federal bank as well, states The CDA Press. While the investigation is ongoing, the employee has been placed on unpaid leave and is forbidden to enter any city facilities. Authorities believe she acted alone and was the only person to receive illegal payments.
The possible theft was discovered after some of the department's workers were performing an account reconciliation while the suspected employee was away on vacation, reports The Press. There were several discrepancies in the city's financial records, and when questioned about the missing funds, the individual gave answers that did not add up to what was in the books, investigators say. Financial statements and records from previous years will now be researched in order to determine when the misappropriation started.
"The city is cooperating with the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department and the Kootenai County prosecutor in gathering documents, transaction records, and other financial information to investigate this matter," Gridley said. "Because this matter is a personnel matter and involves an active criminal investigation, there is little information that we can share at this time."