Authorities have indicted a former Spring Hill finance department employee and charged her with various charges related to her alleged theft of more than $1,500 of other people’s money.
That woman, Deanna Jones, had access to that money through her work as an accounts receivable specialist, according to an audit Tennessee Comptrollers released this week.
“On November 3, 2017 the City of Spring Hill suffered a cyber attack that locked its computer servers, preventing the finance department from accessing its software and payment processes. From November 2017 through January 2018, the city only accepted cash and check payments for utility bills, permits, business licenses, court fees, and other types of payments,” according to a Comptrollers’ press release.
“The investigation determined that Jones stole at least $1,543.96 from 19 customers that she collected directly from the customers and from the city’s payment drop box. The money should have been submitted for deposit but was kept by Jones. Jones was confronted with discrepancies between documented transactions and deposits, and she admitted that she stole some money. The City of Spring Hill terminated her employment in February 2018.”
Jones repaid the city $798.08, but a cash shortage of $745.88 still exists, according to auditors.
“In September 2019, the Maury County Grand Jury indicted Deanna Jones on one count of theft over $1,000, one count of official misconduct, one count of computer crimes, and one count of destruction/tampering of government records,” according to a Comptrollers’ press release.
Tennessee Comptroller Justin Wilson said several weaknesses existed within the city government that made the alleged theft possible.
“Employees were operating out of the same cash drawer, the city did not adequately control access to its offices, and official prenumbered receipts were not being used,” Wilson said.
“I’m pleased to note city leaders are taking steps to address these problems.”
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