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ERIC Number: EJ851913
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Aug
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1537-5749
Fighting Fraud in Schools
Dessoff, Alan
District Administration, v45 n7 p32-36 Aug 2009
It's no surprise that school districts are as vulnerable to fraud as the private sector or any other segment of government. Crimes in districts include collusion with outside vendors who provide kickbacks to employees, misuse of district-issued credit cards, embezzlement of district funds, and theft of district property. "Fraud happens everywhere," says David Neter, chief business officer at Wake County (North Carolina) Public School System. There is no national data on fraud in school districts. But, says Don Mullinax, a former inspector general in the Los Angeles Unified School District, "I think there is a lot more than administrators are aware of because they're not looking for it, and if you're not looking, you're not going to find it until it hits you." Many districts have adopted policies and implemented procedures to detect and prevent it. "There is a heightened awareness now that you have to follow the proper procedures," says Michael Jumper, assistant superintendent for business in the Katonah-Lewisboro (New York) School District, where the state comptroller in 2005 found lax controls, questionable expense claims, and improper credit card purchases. Kelly Todd, a member of Forensic/Strategic Solutions, who spoke about school fraud last year at a conference for school district auditors in Minnesota sponsored by the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants, says a "use it or lose it" budget mentality in many districts is a red flag for fraud. Concludes Melanie Johnson, the consultant in North Carolina: "The school environment is a very trusting network of people, and people are going to trust one another right up to the time they are caught."
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California; Minnesota; New York; North Carolina