Payroll Fraud at Ruston Housing Authority

A just-released audit of the Ruston Housing Authority has uncovered an incidence of payroll fraud beginning in 2013.

From page 28 of the audit by Rector, Reader & Lofton, P.C.:

We were informed that one of the agency’s former employees had committed fraudulent and abusive activity beginning with April of 2013 and up through the beginning of the current audit period. The method through which misappropriation was taking place was in the modifying of payroll withholdings and falsifying overtime hours. In her role as payroll administrator, she was issuing payroll checks to herself for unauthorized overtime and using the Board Chairman and Executive Director’s signature stamp. Total overtime paid was 164 hours for a total of $5,166.02. The modifications to the employee’s payroll withholdings included a loan repayment on her retirement plan that she instead had the authority paying on her behalf. The total amount applied towards her loan by the authority was $9,425.89, She also had been enrolled in AFLAC dental insurance for the duration of her employment but had not been withholding the monthly premium in the amount of $112.20. This resulted in the authority paying a total of $3,927 of premiums on her behalf. The employee has subsequently paid $14,000 in restitution of the total of $18,518.91in questioned fraudulent costs.

It was not revealed in the audit whether the findings had been turned over to the Third Judicial (Lincoln, Union Parishes) District Attorney for prosecution.

Also revealed in the document (pg 38) is the generous pay granted the authority’s executive director:

Salary – $87,252
Benefits (insurance) – $14,937
Benefits (retirement) – $7,416
Car allowance – $4,800
Per diem – $479
Registration fees – $600
Conference travel – $944

Total – $116,428

See here the complete document.


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