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Resource ID: #17280
Subject: Financial Investigations
Source: Gazette (Charleston, W.Va.)
Affiliation: 
Date: Apr. 30, May 1, 2, 3

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Description

The Charleston Gazette investigated the disappearing of more than $ 300, 000 entrusted to the care of the Kanawha County Sheriff's Department. The lost funds "belonged to people unable to manage their own money, often the old and infirm." The reporter investigated how "checks sent to the sheriff's department...were never deposited into the committee accounts" and multiple case of forgery of checks written by the sheriff's employees on behalf of the committees." The series "looked at a handful of the 137 known victims" and investigated how "the former [now dead] sheriff's employee suspected of the embezzlement...allegedly got away with her six-year scheme." The reporter found out that "county efforts to recover the money and prosecute the embezzler were crippled by political infighting." The investigation also revealed that "audits and other public documents that showed the discrepancy had been available at least six years" before the problem was made public in 1997, as the new sheriff discovered about a "$48,000 transfer made in August 1996 from the county's general tax account to the committee accounts."

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