An investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller has revealed fraud connected to a yet-to-be identified employee at the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville.
That investigation says a former administrative services assistant there took $61,892.04 in taxpayer money.
The comptroller's office tells NewsChannel9 the employee's identity
hasn't been made public yet, and won't be until she is indicted.
Last February, investigators began to identify a cash shortage created by the former administrative services assistant. Investigators discovered the employee used a scheme to falsify 26 invoices and submit them for payment to her personal account.
The employee used her role as a processor of purchase orders and requisitions to create phony invoices for historical artifacts. The employee admitted to creating the false invoices and submitting them for payment with photocopies of her supervisorâs signature. These payments totaled $49,476.97.
Investigators also discovered the employee used a rental car for 15 months, and billed $12,415.97 to the Tennessee State Museum. The employee admitted she improperly charged the rental fees to the museum after her personal car broke down. Her employment has been terminated.
Investigators determined the woman was a convicted felon on parole for a theft of property over $60,000. Museum officials were not aware of her conviction when they hired her in April 2011. She was first hired by Adecco USA in November 2008 to provide temporary and contract employment to other state agencies. The employee disclosed three prior convictions on her Adecco USA application.
The Museum Commission is taking steps to require background checks on all future employees.
Investigators recommend the Tennessee State Museum reconcile purchases with inventory records on a monthly basis. Errors can remain undiscovered without proper review.
âThe Tennessee State Museum helps preserve, protect and share our stateâs fascinating history,â Comptroller Justin P. Wilson said. âWe must also protect taxpayer dollars to ensure the continued success of this institution.â
To view the investigation online, go here
If you suspect fraud, waste or abuse of public money in Tennessee, call the Comptroller’s toll-free hotline at (800) 232-4343, or file a report online here