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Tulsa Jail Inmate Account Records So Bad Auditors Don't Know What's Missing

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Image from the audit. Image from the audit.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

The Oklahoma State Auditor and Inspector says the record-keeping for the Tulsa County Jail Inmate Fund were so bad its investigators can't tell how much money is missing.

The Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office requested the the state auditor investigate the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office in connection with allegations of a misappropriation of funds from the Tulsa County Sheriff Inmate Trust Account.

The auditor says few records of any kind were available for 2007 and 2008. From 2009-2012, our testing revealed a substantial number of both receipt books and drawer reports missing. When receipt books were provided many of the receipts were unreadable or used in random order, according to the report, and when drawer reports were found they were unreliable.

Read the full report.

The auditor's office says it in order to determine an accurate amount of unaccounted for funds, it would have to do a transaction-by-transaction review  of approximately 1.9 million computer records to the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office’s original records, a significant amount of which are now missing.

It says it cannot accurately determine the amount of funds that have either been misappropriated or are the result of erroneous and undetected accounting errors during the 2007-2012 time periods.

In March 2013, as part of an internal investigation, a Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office Corporal stated she had misappropriated funds from the Inmate Trust Account during and prior to 2012. The Corporal estimated she had taken $1,000 a month for a period of approximately 12 months and resigned on March 12, 2013.

In addition to funds allegedly missing due to that misappropriation, the auditor's office said it identified other issues that have contributed to unaccounted funds and continue to contribute to an environment lacking internal controls and oversight.

The auditor's office does say it's identified $188,877.35, in addition to the misappropriated funds, that are unaccounted for.

"We identified problems in virtually every aspect of the agencies [sic] computer data relating to inmate trust accounts. This resulted in identifying issues in both inmate balances and the agencies expected bank balances that are incorrect due to clerical errors and erroneous transactions, in addition to a misappropriation of funds," the report says.

District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler issued a statement on the audit report.

“Certainly, this report sheds light on legitimate concerns which should have been corrected years ago by the Sheriff’s Office," the D.A. said.

“We are reviewing the findings of this report now to determine whether there are criminal matters to pursue,” Kunzweiler said.  

“Given the substantial volume of missing, unreadable and inaccurate records we cannot determine accurate amount of funds that have either been misappropriated or are the result of the erroneous and undetected accounting errors during the 2007-2012 time periods.”

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