Washington state’s largest embezzlement scheme uncovered by AP audit

Investigators in Washington are dealing with what they say is the state’s largest embezzlement case, after an accounts payable audit revealed that a former employee of Franklin County had stolen more than $2 million in a scheme that spanned more than two decades.

According to KBKW-FM, Dennis Huston served as the county’s public works director for administration and accounting for many year until an investigation into Franklin’s finances were conducted. When reviewing documents in early 2012, officials found evidence of severe misappropriation and discovered that the illegal activity had been occurring since March 1990. Huston was immediately let go from his position, and was later arrested and pleaded guilty to the charges against him, including theft in first degree, money laundering and possession of cocaine, the news source reports.

The AP audit revealed that Huston had managed to steal the funds by creating false invoices and payment requests to the county from a fake company called Critzer Equipment Company, reports KCPQ-TV. When Franklin County paid the money to the business, Huston had access to the account the amounts were deposited into. The news source states that Huston faces up to 25 years in prison and could be required to pay the $2.8 million he embezzled in restitution.

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