A mother-daughter team working as a teacher and accountant for the Detroit Public Schools system were recently indicted on money laundering and program fraud charges after an accounts payable audit revealed they had embezzled more than $530,000, the Detroit Free Press reports.
Sandra and Domonique Campbell perpetuated the scheme by making payments from school accounts to an educational supplies company owned by Domonique. However, auditors were unable to ascertain whether the school actually received the items it paid for, including writing activity kits, maps, globes and math booklets.
Domonique's mother, Sandra, was also connected to a financial scandal at the now-closed Redford High School, the news source reports. She denied any involvement in a scheme perpetuated by the school's principal that involved the misappropriation of nearly $200,000. An AP audit revealed that the money was mostly spent on items such as a flat-screen television and office furniture. However, more than $23,000 was found to have gone to Sandra's accounting company, including approximately $8,000 in duplicate payments.
Organizations that fail to set up a solid system of checks and balances make themselves vulnerable to embezzlement at the hands of their accountants. Conducting regular AP audits is one way to stay on top of how funds are being disbursed.