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May 30, 2008

More Than $52,000 Missing From
Delaware County Social Services

The Delaware County Child Support Collection Unit lost $52,623 from 2003 to 2007, according to an audit released by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. The audit, requested by Delaware County District Attorney Richard D. Northrup, Jr., also found that there was inadequate supervision of personnel responsible for collecting and depositing child support moneys.

Moreover, employees had unauthorized access to the Social Services Commissioner’s signature stamp and blank checks used for expenditures. DiNapoli’s office is working with law enforcement officials to investigate the possible theft of the funds.

“Child support money should be used to support children, not to line someone’s pockets,” DiNapoli said. “Department heads should take great care to guard against abuse and theft of the public’s money.” DiNapoli said that since his office began the audit of the county’s Child Support Collection Unit, county officials have implemented corrective measures designed to prevent future thefts.

Altogether, the audit found that:

  • The Collection Unit staff did not properly record, deposit, or disburse all moneys collected;
  • Of the $52,623 that was unaccounted for, $49,623 was not deposited in the Collection Unit’s bank account, moneys deposited on two separate occasions were short a total of $1,000, and $2,000 received and recorded by the Collection Unit was deposited directly into a bank account that belonged to one of the Collection Unit employees.

DiNapoli recommended that county officials:

  • Investigate how the money was lost and where appropriate attempt to recover the funds;
  • Develop and implement internal controls, including more effective oversight of employees handling moneys and ensuring that no one single person is charged with all phases of cash transactions;
  • On a monthly basis reconcile the amount of money received to the amount deposited in the department’s bank accounts; and
  • Ensure that the Commissioner’s signature stamp and blank check stock be stored in a secure location, to be used only by authorized personnel with the Commissioner’s full knowledge.

County officials have indicated they plan to take – and in some cases have already taken – corrective action.

Click here for a copy of the report.



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