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Western Arizona Vocational Education District—Criminal Indictment—Theft and Misuse of Public Monies


As part of its responsibility to prevent and detect fraud, Western Arizona Vocational Education District (WAVE) officials took appropriate action by reporting a fraud allegation to our Office. Our investigation revealed that from November 2011 through August 2016, Deborah Long, former business manager, may have embezzled $139,284 of public monies when she issued WAVE warrants to herself and her credit card companies, kept payments made by parents and others that should have been deposited in WAVE bank accounts, made personal purchases with WAVE credit cards, and gave herself an unauthorized payroll raise.  Ms. Long may have also falsified information in WAVE’s accounting software and governing board packets to conceal her actions. We have submitted our report to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, which on July 30, 2018, presented evidence to the Arizona State Grand Jury. The action resulted in Ms. Long’s indictment on seven felony counts related to theft, fraudulent schemes, and misuse of public monies.