Audit details nearly $175,000 stolen by former Lucas Co. court employee

WTOL

A state audit released Thursday details a theft of almost $175,000 by a former employee of the Lucas County Clerk of Courts office, who was sentenced last week to jail time for theft in office.

The audit of Lucas County also notes that an ongoing investigation by the Auditor of State’s Public Integrity Assurance Team could lead to additional findings against former Deputy Clerk Amirra Itawi in a future audit.

Itawi pleaded no contest to a third-degree felony theft in office charge on April 30. She was sentenced on June 20 to three years of probation beginning with a year split between jail and a substance abuse treatment facility in Toledo. She could spend 30 months in prison if she violates the terms of her probation.

An internal audit of the court’s billing system found 799 instances where Itawi fraudulently voided transactions from December 2016 through July 2017 to conceal her theft of $174,625.

“This is one of the most common tricks we’ve seen thieving government employees use to pocket cash from transactions,” Auditor Dave Yost said. “The only way to thwart the scheme is to implement and adhere to a strong system of checks and balances.”

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