UPDATE: Point Boro Extends Accounting Probe Of Tax Collection

Point Boro's Council approved extending an accounting firm's investigation of theft in the Tax Collection department.
Point Boro's Council approved extending an accounting firm's investigation of theft in the Tax Collection department.
Point Pleasant Boro Council approved an expansion of an ongoing investigation of theft in the Tax Collector's Department last week.

Holman, Frenia Allison PC will receive up to $22,000 for a "forensic examination of certain books and records pertaining to transactions involving the Tax Collector's Department." 

The accounting firm said it will determine the theft, loss and exposure; quantify it; assist in asset recovery; and recommend financial controls to prevent theft and/or fraud.

Schroeder said this is part of an ongoing investigation and Ocean County Prosecutor's Office had recommended hiring a forensic accountant. 

"A theft was in the office, but we're trying to identify the person," Schroeder said. The investigation will look at the time, dates and who was doing accounting entries for the Borough. No accusations have been made, Schroeder said.

The Borough had previously approve spending $35,000 in this investigation.
Forensic accountants are typically hired to uncover fraud or value assets by reconstructing financial records, assessing accounting systems and uncover whether financial records match with reality.

This differs from the role of auditors, who assess whether financial statements fairly represent the financial condition of an organization. Auditors typically take samples of a company's financial statements to test their accuracy, but that is sometimes not enough to uncover fraud.

Tax Collector Named in Suit

Separate from the fraud allegations, a former employee of the borough filed suit earlier this month against the borough, Borough Administrator David Maffei and Tax Collector Bernadine Pearce for creating a hostile work environment.

Ann Marie Diehl, a resident of Donna Drive, told the Council that the environment that Pearce created, including having an urn containing the "ashes of problem employees," was "beyond incomprehensible."
Borough officials declined to comment on the lawsuit.
Laura March 28, 2014 at 03:53 PM
DAS, bingo.
Jack Kennell March 29, 2014 at 12:46 AM
Another good book at B&N is "This Time Is Different" by Reinhart & Rogoff. Did you notice all the empty store fronts the last few years? (I even heard the D.Q. is the next to go.) Hardly any one could argue the observations of Mr. Dully, a very observant man. However I myself have an extended theory: Another book at B&N is "The Sociopath Next Door". She Ph. D. claims that about 4% of the general US population are sociopaths and 20% of the general prison population (all inclusive) are sociopaths. Maybe a study could be done about all people in government, elected and appointed. To get back to the big local puzzle, 10% of effort is usually the recovery cost. That would imply that the embezzlement could be about a half-million dollars! Many taxpayers evidently would like the Mayor-Council to at least divulge the amount missing in the near future. They're going to have to do it anyway sooner or later.
Laura March 29, 2014 at 11:13 AM
Jack, So, Alex, is planning on retiring soon?
Alex Viecelli March 29, 2014 at 01:52 PM
Laura what I think Jack is talking about is last year Debby and I did get an offer from another Dairy Queen owner to buy us out. I turned him down. I love what I do for a living, For that I feel blessed. If it were 10 years from now I would have given it serious consideration. I would like to stay 20 more years if I can. I promised my wife at 70 that would be my last season.
Jack Kennell March 30, 2014 at 08:50 AM
Alex you're probably in a recession-proof type of business, therefore lucky. Things are not good for the majority, and I am starting to realize it may not ever get back to what we thought was normal. By the way, the first $30K of the probe had to be documented or billed, therefore subject to OPRA, even though there could be redactions at this stage. With the bad economy I got a hunch that this was a large embezzlement.


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