The Beaufort Police Department is investigating an allegation that a Beaufort County schools employee used a district credit card to make personal purchases.
Tonya Crosby, the chief financial officer for the Beaufort County School District, filed a report with police June 27 in which she accused an unnamed employee of embezzlement.
Crosby reported that an employee used a school-issued credit card for unauthorized charges totaling $4,500 within a single month, Stephanie Karafa, an investigator at the department, said in an email.
When asked to provide further details about the incident, Karafka declined to provide them because she said the investigation is an active one. No charges have been filed though Karafa said the department had identified a person of interest in the case.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Island Packet
The only information contained in the two-sentence police report says that an officer responded to a "breach of trust" call and that the investigation was ongoing.
Jim Foster, the school district's director of communications, said the district discovered a series of purchases on one of the system's credit cards and filed the police report due to the nature of those purchases. He declined to identify the person of interest or discuss his or her employment status, citing the ongoing investigation.
The investigation comes just weeks after a $63,000 outside audit examined the district's spending and found no evidence of wrongdoing last year.
Reed & Associates CPAs sampled 262 out of 28,000 transactions made from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017 to determine if they were properly authorized, made in accordance with school district policy and were not for personal purposes.
The results found that all the purchases were properly supported by documentation and made using the district's code. None of the purchases were unauthorized or made for personal reasons, according to a status report presented to the board on June 7.
At that board meeting, Moss said that the results proved that taxpayers’ funds are being used responsibly.
"I truly hope everyone — not just board members but everyone — reads those results carefully," Moss said during the June 7 board meeting. "As much accusation and innuendo that our finance department took by some individuals, this in my mind truly speaks to what we’ve said this entire time. Our internal control department is second to none."