City Auditor Unveils New Fraud Prevention & Awareness Campaign
2012-11-15 · By Editor
As an official supporter of International Fraud Awareness Week (Nov. 11-17), City Auditor Laura Doud announced at this week’s City Council meeting she will request that the Council consider adding a Fraud Prevention and Reporting Policy to the Ethics Guide for Long Beach City Officials & Employees.
The new proposed Fraud Prevention Policy states that all City employees are committed to performing their duties to the public in a manner that is free of fraud, waste, and abuse. It also obligates employees to report any suspicion of fraud by others immediately.
One of the City Auditor’s first priorities upon taking office in 2006 was to re-implement the City Auditor’s Fraud Hotline, which had been inactive for several years. On Tuesday, City Auditor Doud announced a reinvigorated Fraud Awareness and Prevention campaign to remind City employees, vendors, and the public about the importance of stopping fraud against the City of Long Beach.
The City Auditor’s new Fraud Awareness and Prevention campaign has the theme “Let’s Be Clear” that gives clear examples of fraud against the City. For instance, if a vendor submits a false billing to the City or if a citizen does not receive a receipt when paying for a City license or permit – these could be signs of fraud and can be reported to the City Auditor’s Fraud Hotline.
“I recognize that most City employees approach their service to the public with integrity,” said City Auditor Doud. “However, it is important to acknowledge that fraud, waste, and abuse can and does occur, so we need the help and cooperation of all City employees and residents to report suspected fraud against the City.”
Suspected fraud against the City can be reported 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by calling the City Auditor’s Fraud Hotline at 1-888 Fraud-07 (1-888-372-8307) or online at the City Auditor’s website.
City Auditor Doud cited the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ 2012 Report to the Nations, which confirmed that fraud in the workplace is more likely to be detected by a tip than by any other method. “Our Fraud Hotline gives City employees and the public an opportunity to anonymously report fraud, waste, and abuse of Long Beach City funds and property. I want to assure everyone that all calls are absolutely confidential,” said City Auditor Doud. “We use a third party expert to administer the hotline to ensure there is confidentiality.”
A tip earlier this year led the City Auditor’s Office to a major fraud by an employee of the City’s Animal Care Bureau. Working closely with the Long Beach Police Department and the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, the City Auditor’s Office audited this fraud case in which over $250,000 was embezzled from the Bureau in an 11-month period. The employee was arrested, pled guilty, was sentenced to three years in prison, and was ordered to pay restitution to the City in the amount of $600,000.
“I am pleased with the work performed on this case, and I will be honoring the Bureau manager in charge at the time, the detective, and the prosecutor at the City Council meeting Tuesday evening for their countless hours of hard work and determination in uncovering this fraud and bringing this person to justice,” said City Auditor Doud.
The new Fraud Awareness and Prevention educational materials can be viewed at www.CityAuditorLauraDoud.com.