Small Mid-South Town Hit by Identity Theft

Small Mid-South Town Hit by Identity Theft

The mayor of Henning says city leaders are still trying to recoup more than $25,000 the city lost in an identity theft scheme.
HENNING, TN (abc24.com) - The mayor of Henning says city leaders are still trying to recoup more than $25,000 the city lost in an identity theft scheme.

"It is not something we want to lose," said Mayor Michael Bursey.

The mayor says the city's troubles started when he thought he lost a city-issued check in a Covington business.

"We thought it was lost, but that was not the case," he said.

Investigators with the state Comptroller's office determined the check was originally written last November in the amount of $187.65 to cover an advertisement in the Jackson Sun, and then mailed to the newspaper's billing office in Dallas, Texas.

In February, the city's accountant realized the check had been forged, and cashed for $25,500. The new check was made out to a person with an address in a Houston apartment complex.

By then, additional checks for $8,000 and $10,000 had been written with the same check template. Both of those checks were stopped by the city's bank.

"Town officials failed to identify and take prompt remedial action to invalidate a missing town check, resulting in a loss to the town of $25,500," L. Rene Brison, Assistant Director of the Division of Investigations, wrote in a report into the matter.

"Failure by town officials to identify check no. 011074 as a lost or stolen check and to take prompt remedial action by issuing a stop-payment order resulted in the loss of $25,500 in town funds," the report goes on to say.

"It is something that if we had communicated well, it probably shouldn't have happened, and we will make sure it won't happen again," Mayor Bursey said.

In late February, the city of West Memphis, Ark. found itself the victim of a similar scheme. In that case, a check sent to a pay a vendor bill was stolen in Dallas. The check was then forged for $120,000.

Authorities declined to comment if the two cases could be connected. Both remain under investigation.

Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus