As part of their responsibility to prevent and detect fraud, the district administrators took appropriate action by reporting a fraud allegation to a law enforcement agency that referred the complaint to our Office. We conducted an investigation, revealing that from February to April 2013, Kelly Cozad, former district bookkeeper, may have violated state laws related to theft, fraudulent schemes, computer tampering, forgery, and misuse of public monies when she embezzled $30,922. Specifically, Ms. Cozad issued 23 unauthorized district checks with forged signatures totaling $22,016 to herself and her friend Neville McCulloch. They cashed some checks and deposited the rest in their respective personal accounts. Additionally, Ms. Cozad concealed some of her theft by misdirecting into the account from which she embezzled an $8,386 deposit that should have gone into a separate district fund. She also unlawfully deposited to her personal account a retired employee’s $520 insurance subsidy check.
On August 3, 2015, the Attorney General’s Office presented evidence of Ms. Cozad’s and Mr. McCulloch’s alleged crimes to the State Grand Jury, resulting in her indictment on ten felony counts and his indictment on one felony count.