A special investigation by the State Auditor’s office has documented the misuse of money by the manager of a drug treatment program located in Des Moines. The Center for Behavioral Health receives state and federal funding through the Iowa Department of Public Health to provide services to those trying to overcome drug addiction.
State Auditor Mary Mosiman, says they were called in to audit the CBH books. “The owner of CBH notified the Iowa Department of Public Health of the suspected misuse of funds at the Des Moines treatment center. And he confronted the executive director — Miss Mindy Williams — who admitted to using CBH funds for personal use, and falsifying documentation,” Mosiman says. The center provides services such as transportation, drug screenings, sobriety incentives, wellness assistance, and meetings with counselors.
Mosiman says Williams used vouchers for things like gas cards and gift cards that were supposed to have gone to clients, but the audit found a lack of documentation.
She says there were $108,639 dollars of reimbursements where no receipt could be located, and $21,917 of unsupported reimbursements where the receipts had been altered or had no amount on the receipt.
Mosiman says they cross-checked the names of clients with the receipts and found man that weren’t legitimate. “For numerous reimbursements, there was no client receipt, and therefore no client,” Mosiman explains. She says this was a case where CBH should have been able to catch the issues before they got out of hand.
“Oversight procedures were in place, they just didn’t follow them,” Mosiman says. “Miss Williams was able to carry this out over a period several years and the monies that should have been used for services or products for people going through substance abuse and the treatment of substance abuse, she was able to use those monies for her own personal use,” according to Mosiman.
The audit covered the period from January 2011 through May of 2013 when Williams resigned her position. The special report has been turned over to the Des Moines Police Department, the Division of Criminal Investigation, the Polk County Attorney’s Office, and the Attorney General’s Office.