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Audit reveals how sheriff's office employee manipulated system, stole $150K from department
PORT ALLEN- An audit released Monday by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor is revealing new details about a scheme that went undetected for years and allowed a West Baton Rouge sheriff's Office employee to pocket more than $150,000.
That employee, Mandy Miller, confessed to stealing $150,000, according to the report. Over a four-year window, they found $158,852 was missing. Miller was arrested last month and charged with felony theft, forgery and malfeasance in office.
According to the audit, "Miller told auditors she took some of the cash collected for traffic tickets and deposited the money to her bank account or kept it for her personal use."
Auditors found this is how it happened.
"WBRSO accounting records indicate Ms. Miller recorded the cash she took as an account receivable to keep the accounting records balanced. Cash collections are usually recorded as an increase to cash, but since she took some of the cash, the entry to accounts receivable was required to allow the accounting records to reconcile to bank records."
Auditors also found another employee, Aimee Rivere also stole money. She was arrested and made restitution in the amount of $4,071.
As a result of the theft, Sheriff Mike Cazes implemented the following procedures.
1. The Sheriff's office is in negotiations for an automated kiosk system to reduce the handling of cash payments.
2. An employee that does not collect payments to receive and deposit collections from cashiers on a daily basis.
3. Cash is settled daily ensuring they balance and match all accounting entries.
4. Check signing duties have been designated to senior staff.
Miller was given all kinds of special treatment. When allegations first surfaced that she stole money, Sheriff Mike Cazes allowed her to remain on the payroll for months. Special arrangements were also made to make things comfortable for her when she turned herself in.
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