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Auditors: Ex-Spokane County employee stole $1.38M

March 29, 2019

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — County and state auditors say a former Spokane County employee stole more than $1.38 million in taxpayer money using dozens of relatives and acquaintances to cash checks for falsified liability claims.

The Spokesman-Review reports 50-year-old Rhonda Ackerman also was recently accused in a civil lawsuit of stealing money from her mother, who has dementia, after assuming power of attorney over her bank and retirement accounts.

The thefts from the county occurred between January 2007 and December 2016, according to a report released Thursday by the state auditor’s office, which concluded “internal controls at the county were not adequate to safeguard public resources.”

The amounts stolen each year ranged from $73,000 to nearly $178,000. Neither county nor state auditors found inappropriate payments in 2017 or 2018.

The findings were forwarded to the Spokane Police Department. Detectives are investigating.

Ackerman didn’t respond to messages seeking comment.

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Information from: The Spokesman-Review, http://www.spokesman.com