Miami Beach city manager to sign off on expenses of at least $1 million amid fraud investigation

As Miami Beach commissioners tackled a number of hot-button issues Wednesday, one dark cloud still hung over city hall: fraud.

"Internally, if we had people responsible, I want them out of our organization," Commissioner Ricky Arriola said.

The issue cost the city $3.6 million last year in a series of payments, and the city's finance department didn't discover the theft for six months.

The money from various fees was in a Suntrust bank account operated by the city. But somehow, fraudsters found a way to manipulate the system.

A treasury manager has since been fired and the finance department has been reorganized.

"I still to this day scratch my head on how that individual over the course of five months didn't see dozens of transactions in the amount of $3.6 million. I don't understand. That's your job. How do you miss that?" city manager Jimmy Morales said.

There have been at least 60 fixes after an audit by a professional accounting firm that found a number of vulnerable areas for Miami Beach.

The city manager will now sign off on expenses of $1 million or more.

The roles of finance employees will be split to increase accountability and passwords will be strengthened while the city shifts from using the old compromised bank account.

"We've seen where we have exposure, personnel issues, IT, etc.," Morales said. "And we're developing plans to address it. We've implemented a lot of the changes."

This BBSNews article was syndicated from News | WPLG, and written by News | WPLG. Read the original article here.