Audit uncovers repeated embezzlement at Iowa soil districts

August 31, 2018

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A former secretary for Iowa soil and water conservation districts allegedly embezzled nearly $300,000 in cash and personal purchases over a 7-year period.

A report released by State Auditor Mary Mosiman says Leslie Carey made hundreds of withdrawals and improper purchases, criticizing the districts for failing to implement safeguards after a similar scandal was uncovered in 2014.

Carey was secretary for the Black Hawk County Soil and Water Conservation District and its counterpart in Bremer County. She was an employee of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship until resigning last December.

The report found Carey withdrew $182,000 in cash from the Black Hawk district and spent $105,000 on debit and credit cards. She used public funds to buy items such as a new television and water heater, airline and concert tickets, groceries and clothing.

Carey improperly transferred $134,000 from Bremer to prop up Black Hawk’s budget. A listed number for Carey, who hasn’t been charged, rang unanswered.

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