NM Auditor Releases Forensic Report
State Auditor Tim Keller released a forensic audit of Bernalillo Public Schools today after the Bernalillo Police Department requested assistance to investigate financial irregularities at two schools, W.D. Carroll Elementary and La Escuelita Pre-School.
The audit identified the apparent theft of about $50,000 over a two and a half year period by a former bookkeeper. A background check had been performed on the employee but it did not uncover a pending indictment from an embezzlement case at their former employer.
“We see our fair share of fraud, but it’s especially disappointing to see tens of thousands of dollars apparently being taken from kids by an employee for personal use,” stated Keller. “We appreciate the cooperation of the district and law enforcement in working with us to get to the bottom of these serious allegations.”
The majority of the funds taken were cash raised or collected by teachers, parents, staff and students at events like scholastic books fairs, Isotopes games, yearbook sales and popcorn fundraisers. Keller previously issued a Risk Advisory to all schools to advise them of the high susceptibility of theft for money raised from fundraisers and events.
The report also noted mortgage and wire transfer documents that appeared to be altered.