Audit: Two city parks employees stole about $100,000 - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Audit: Two city parks employees stole about $100,000

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Two San Diego Parks and Recreation employees allegedly stole more than $100,000 from two recreation centers by pocketing reimbursement checks and membership and registration fees, according to a city audit released Thursday.

One of the employees, who were not identified, allegedly kept about $55,000 in membership and registration fees that were supposed to be deposited into the Recreation Council's bank account, which is separate from the city's general fund, according to the audit conducted by the office of City Auditor Eduardo Luna.

The investigation also found that between July 2004 and March 2008, 31 checks totaling about $35,000 were made out to another recreation center employee from the Recreation Council bank account to reimburse the employee for payments supposedly made to patrons to refund cleaning and damage deposits. Instead of refunding the money, the employee kept it, the audit alleges.

Another nine checks totaling about $10,000 in refunds were made out to friends of one of the recreation center employees to refund cleaning and damage deposits, but the employee never forwarded the reimbursements, and the employee's friends never paid cleaning or damage deposits, Luna said.

A Parks and Recreation spokesperson was not immediately available to respond to the audit, and it was unclear whether the two workers still worked for the city.

A complaint to the city's Fraud Hotline initiated the investigation, Luna said.

The investigation found that financial records were missing from the recreation center where the suspicious transactions occurred and that monthly financial reports made by an employee inflated the amount of money on hand at the recreation center.

One of the same city employees involved in the suspicious transactions was reassigned to another recreation center in July 2009, Luna said.

Between Jan. 30 and July 9, 2010, $893 in fees collected from people registering for classes at the center were never deposited into the Recreation Council's bank account, the investigation found.

The suspicious activity was referred to the San Diego Police Department, Luna said.

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