The former financial officer of a community development organization in Louisiana is being investigated after an accounts payable audit discovered approximately $50,858 was stolen from the company. The audit report stated that changes need to be made within the organization regarding its financial and accounting policies.
According to The Advocate, the results from the AP audit were released by the state's Legislative Auditor and revealed that the funds had been stolen from the Louisiana Association of Community Action Partnerships Inc (LACAP). The ex-financial officer, who has not been named, was the only individual to participate in the scheme. The money was taken from federal grants that were given to the organization to help low-income residents better protect their homes from harsh weather conditions.
Approximately eight fraudulent checks were written between August and November 2011 from accounts belonging to the LACAP, reports the news source. An investigation was launched after another employee discovered the theft, and the officer was subsequently terminated. The individual paid back $5,291 and the organization recovered $44,567 from its insurance carrier.
The audit report from the Louisiana Legislative Auditor Daryl Pupera included recommendations and changes that the LACAP should implement into its accounting procedures. Since it receives federal funding, steps should be taken by executives to ensure that the money is not misappropriated. The organization needs to make sure it is being compliant with Louisiana and federal laws and should strengthen its internal financial control, the report stated.
The Louisiana Association of Community Action Partnerships aims to help the state's lower income residents have access to assistance programs and resources, according to its website. There are 42 agencies statewide that are run by the LACAP which serve all of Louisiana's 64 parishes.