A 2014 state audit revealed that someone stole money from the city of Eunice about 5 months ago.
Identity theft is an ongoing problem that can happen to businesses and governments, not only people. Louisiana’s state legislative auditor, Daryl Purpera revealed the city of Eunice was a victim of check fraud of over $5,000.
“Someone got a hold to one of the checks,” said Ginny Moody, Eunice City Clerk. “Got the information off of it, made up a phony check with our banking information, and used it in another state.”
Moody says multiple checks were written over the span of 5 months in California. There were all used at different locations, but in the same geographic area.
“No connection with anybody the City of Eunice does business with, or employees,” said Moody.
She added once the city realized what happened, they immediately contacted police, and even reached out to the Secret Service.
“The amount missing wasn’t nearly enough for them to get involved,” said Moody. “But they were very helpful and pointed us in the right direction. They told us that we were not the first city, government, municipality that this has happened to.”
Moody says the suspect was somewhat sophisticated, as they stayed under the radar when it came to the amounts the checks were written for, putting the city in a tough spot.
“We won’t be able to get it back,” said Moody. “Because of the time lapse between the time that it happened, and the time it was reported .””
Because of the incident, the City of Eunice has totally revamped the way it does payroll.
“We are online,” said Moody.”Our treasurer on a weekly basis goes in and checks the accounts for anything that might raise suspicion.””
City leaders found out about the theft in August of 2014.