West Virginia woman steals public funds

When it comes to organizations that serve the public good, using AP audit solutions can be especially crucial to ensuring that people receive the benefits they deserve. Brandee Phillips-Ellis recently pleaded guilty to embezzling funds from the town of Pineville, West Virginia.

An AP audit discovered that between March 2009, and December 2011, more than $80,000 went missing, landing in Phillips-Ellis' pockets, WVVA​-TV reported. During that period and in her former role as the community's city manager and recorder, she wrote a number of fraudulent reimbursement and payroll checks to herself, using the money on activities like paying off her husband's personal bills and buying a car.

"When people abuse a position of trust and steal from public coffers, they're not just breaking the law – they're ultimately hurting citizens who count on public services," U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said, the news source reported. "People who attempt to steal from the public till will be caught and they will be punished."

The State Journal noted that, according to her plea agreement, Phillips-Ellis faces 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines

Implementing audit solutions early may help communities avoid large monetary losses by catching criminals before they are able to incur significant damages.

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