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Former Cemetery Employee Owes District Nearly $6K for Missing Revenue
Columbus – A former employee of an Ashtabula County cemetery district is on the hook for almost $6,000 in revenue that never made it to the bank, according to an audit report released today.
An investigation by the Auditor of State’s office identified 39 customer payments totaling $5,735 that were not recorded in the Geneva Union Cemetery District’s accounting records or submitted to its fiscal officer for deposit.
All of the payments were processed by former Sexton Daniel Marshfield from January 2012 through July 2015. Marshfield was employed by the district for 11 years before management fired him on July 20, 2015. Auditors issued a finding for recovery requiring him to repay the missing revenue to the district.
“These findings warrant a more robust system of checks and balances,” Auditor Dave Yost said. “I urge cemetery officials to evaluate their financial procedures regularly and address any weaknesses that come to light.”
The investigation was launched at the request of cemetery administrators, who located about 15 receipts for cash payments in Marshfield’s desk following his termination. None of the payments were logged in the cemetery district’s accounting system or deposited into its bank account.
In a response to the audit findings, officials with the district said they have taken steps to enhance their monitoring of transactions.
“We immediately implemented a log to ensure that all receipt forms are recorded in the UAN (accounting) system or otherwise accounted for,” officials wrote.
A special report published by Auditor Yost in November highlights the dangers local governments face when financial processes go unchecked. According to the report, more than $3.4 million in payments received by local governments in the past decade never made it into the government accounts.
A full copy of the cemetery district’s audit report is available online.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 6,000 state and local government agencies. Under the direction of Auditor Dave Yost, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies and promotes transparency in government.