The State Auditor is urging government agencies and non-profit groups to keep a closer eye on their bank accounts. The warning comes after an audit of Northwestern Iowa Youth Services Center in Cherokee uncovered 86-thousand dollars worth of unauthorized spending. Deputy State Auditor Warren Jenkins says the Center’s board of directors asked for the audit when they discover the agency’s bank account was overdrawn.Jenkins says they found the Center’s director was issuing himself multiple paychecks. Jenkins says Donald Short then admitted he submitted fake travel expenses; made lots of personal phone calls on the Center’s dime; and bought himself a camera, film and an iron with the Center’s money. Jenkins says the case serves as a reminder to boards that oversee the operation of non-profit groups or government agencies, no matter how much you trust an individual, providing oversight is important. Jenkins says people embezzle for all sorts of reasons, from supporting gambling addiction to just supporting their lifestyle.Jenkins says the only way the Cherokee Youth Center can recover the 86-thousand dollars is if Donald Short is charged with a crime and ordered to pay restitution. The 86-thousand dollars was stolen over an 18-month period.
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