Madison County Audit Complete

(Fredericktown, MO.) Officials with The Public Corruption and Fraud Division of State Auditor Nicole Galloway's office are releasing their audit of the Madison County Collector's office. They allege more than $13,000 went missing between January of 2017 and October of 2018. Investigators say documentation shows property tax bills were paid, but then were deleted from the system, and the payments were not deposited into county accounts. A release from the Auditor's Office indicates In October, a taxpayer contacted the collector's office after being notified that his real estate taxes were delinquent. The taxpayer was able to provide a paid tax receipt.

After county officials and law enforcement began to investigate the issue, a whistleblower contacted the Missouri State Auditor's Whistleblower Hotline about the suspicious activity. Based on discussions with law enforcement, the Public Corruption and Fraud Division investigated and then launched an audit. The report identified $13,263 in missing money, which represents 66 individual personal property and real estate tax payments. When taxpayers would pay their bill, the transaction was recorded and they were issued a receipt. However, the transaction was subsequently deleted from the system and the money was not deposited. An additional $2,000 in deleted transactions are questionable. This includes three transactions for the former deputy collector's personal property taxes. Staff in the collector's office shared passwords and computers, which makes it difficult to track activity in the system by individual. Local and state law enforcement continue to investigate, and Auditor Galloway pledged continued cooperation from her offices.