Franklin County Rocked by Another Embezzlement Scheme
For the second time in less than five years, a Franklin County employee is facing allegations they stole money from the county.
Yesenia Torres, a long-time worker who moved to the clerk's office about two years ago, is accused of not making several deposits of checks and cash totaling about $11,000.
County Clerk Michael Killian said Torres was fired after originally being put on leave, after the Sheriff's office discovered what appears to be theft.
The issues began when a customer called the county and wanted to know why a July 2017 deposit was never made to the bank. The customer said their check made out to the county was never processed by the bank. Torres was on what was called unexpected leave, and another worker handled a voice mail from the customer. The worker notified superiors and an investigation began with the Sheriff's office and State Auditor. In October, officials learned that deposit which contained nearly $8.900 mostly in cash and some checks, was never put in the bank.
The investigation also showed a similar missing deposit from January of the same year, totaling about $2,200. The total missing money came to about $11,000. The auditor did not find any other missing funds. Franklin County officials did not say whether they know if Torres pocketed the funds.
Franklin County implemented numerous safeguards after former Public Works Director David Huston was caught and imprisoned for embezzling at least $2.8 million over a 22-year period. However, the audit questioned some procedures where only one person was handling certain financial tasks. The county says it's changed these policies with multiple people overseeing deposits and other financial transactions such as fines, court payments and other fees.
No word if official charges have been filed against Torres. According to the Tri-City Herald, phone calls to a number listed as her home went unanswered.