Tennessee Comptrollers: More Than $3.5 Million in Misused Public Money Remains Uncollected


Two new reports from Tennessee Comptrollers show that local governments are short millions of dollars.

This, according to a press release Comptrollers released Tuesday.

The 2018 Report of Cash Shortages in Tennessee’s 95 county governments updates the amounts of cash shortages and thefts as of June 30, 2018. The report details money that went missing during the 2018 fiscal year, as well as previous fiscal years.

The state’s 95 counties began the 2018 fiscal year with $972,608 in cash shortages that had not been recovered. During the fiscal year, $276,522 worth of new shortages were detected. Counties were able to recover or write-off $179,674 through restitution payments, insurance claims or other means. That left a net unrecovered shortage of $1,069,456 at the end of the fiscal year,” according to the press release.

“The Comptroller’s office also released its report detailing cash shortages and other thefts for Tennessee municipalities, internal school funds, utility districts, housing authorities, nonprofits, and other governmental entities. These shortages were reported in fiscal year 2017 and earlier.”

Fiscal year 2017 began with a cash shortage of $2,783,851. During the year, $985,967 in new shortages were detected. A total of $1,316,145 was recovered or written-off during the fiscal year, leaving an unrecovered shortage of $2,453,673 at fiscal year-end.

“Our Office takes its responsibility to uncover fraud, waste, and abuse seriously,” the press release quoted Tennessee Comptroller Justin P. Wilson as saying.

“Tennesseans expect their leaders and public officials to take steps to protect public money and property. Our auditors and investigators make frequent recommendations to improve accountability. Following these recommendations will help make government work better.”

Both reports provide explanations of how the shortages were discovered, methods used to steal money, and legal actions taken against those responsible.

To view the 2018 Report of Cash Shortages in county governments online, click here.

To view the 2017 Municipalities and Other Organizations Report of Cash Shortages online, click here.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]




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One Thought to “Tennessee Comptrollers: More Than $3.5 Million in Misused Public Money Remains Uncollected”

  1. William R. Delzell

    What about the federal funds that our state legislature is hogging to itself?