Vermont auditor calls school embezzlement statistics ‘alarming’

According to a recently released report by Vermont auditor Tom Salmon, approximately $415,000 has been reported missing from 16 Vermont supervisory units or school districts over the past 11 years, The Associated Press reports.

"For a small state, the frequency of incidents involving fraud, embezzlement or theft in our schools is alarming," Salmon said, as quoted by the news source. "While it is a credit to many of our school systems that they have reported no known instances of theft, it is clear that glaring weaknesses in controls over cash, accountability and security continue in many others."

The report found that four of the 25 cases examined involved embezzlement that exceeded $40,000, with two thefts of more than $100,000. Methods of misappropriation included employees writing unauthorized checks to themselves, stealing from student activity and food service accounts and using school district credit cards to make unapproved purchases.

Many of the schemes were uncovered by accounts payable audits, and the majority of districts and unions reported their findings to authorities.

According to the recently released 2011 Marquet Report, Vermont is the most at-risk state in the nation for loss due to embezzlement. 

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