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City out more than $26k after fraudulent payments made from Workers Comp account

baltimore city money
Posted at 1:52 PM, Jun 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-21 14:46:09-04

Baltimore City is out more than $26,000 after several fraudulent payments were made from their Workers Compensation Claims checking account.

It occurred between November 2020 and January 2022.

An Inspector General's investigation found that a total of $317,241.71 was paid out to 22 different external accounts during that period.

The bank where the account is held has since issued a credit of $290,971.97 back to the City, who disputed the payments.

"Oversight mechanisms were not in place to identify and stop the fraudulent charges on the accounts quickly," Inspector General Isabel Mercedes Cumming wrote in her report.

At the time, the city was paying a third party vendor to manage the account. The City's law department also had an employee to oversee that contract.

Neither caught the fraudulent charges.

The Bank did provide monthly Account Analysis statements, but not Demand Deposit Account statements that would have displayed daily transactions, including the unauthorized payments.

From June 2019 through February 2022, when the account was open, the city paid the bank $1,057.38 a month in service fees totaling $34,893.39.

The City has since agreed to close the account and allow the vendor to start managing future payments through their own bank account, free of any service charges.