Our Office has investigated many fraud schemes in which public documents had been forged and filed in a public office. Although these practices are crimes in and of themselves, individuals often use forgery and false filing to perpetrate their schemes or attempt to conceal their crimes. This alert outlines how public officials can exercise appropriate oversight to help protect public monies and records. Specifically, public officials should ensure that they:
Separate cash-handling and public recordkeeping responsibilities among employees;
Objectively scrutinize public records that support transactions to ensure they are true and genuine; and
Develop policies to secure and properly safeguard public documents.
Putting effective controls in place can help ensure compliance with state laws and help prevent fraud, waste, and abuse. Putting effective controls in place can help ensure compliance with state laws and help prevent fraud, waste, and abuse.