West Tennessee Town Falls Victim To Identity Theft

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Identity theft is a problem for many individuals, but even cities can fall victim. The West Tennessee town of Henning learned that when someone tried to use two counterfeit checks issued in the town’s name last year.

The banks refused to honor those checks, but the town did lose $25,500 when another check was stolen and the amount and name of the payee were altered. Those were among the findings of an audit released by the Comptroller’s Division of Investigations today.

The mayor of Henning initially told auditors that the stolen check was lost at a store in Covington. However, an investigation revealed that the check - written in the amount of $187.65 - was actually sent to a vendor in Dallas to cover a legitimate expense.

That check was intercepted and altered to reflect a payment of $25,500 payable to “Cheveze Pippins.” The check was then deposited into a Houston bank account last year. Several months later, unsuccessful attempts were made to transact the two counterfeit checks in the town’s name at banks in Louisiana and Texas.

Auditors noted that the town should have taken action promptly to stop payment on the stolen check when it was determined that the vendor had not received it.

“This case illustrates the importance of proper record-keeping,” said Comptroller Justin P. Wilson. “Adequate safeguards need to be in place so lost or stolen checks are quickly detected and appropriately handled.”

The audit also found that the town failed to adequately document some transactions, pre-signed some blank checks and improperly handled vehicles confiscated by police.

To view the report online, go to: http://www.comptroller.tn.gov/ia/



Chattanooga Chamber Calendar Of Events For Oct. 23-27

TUES/24 East Brainerd Council Meeting 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Car Barn:  6721 Heritage Business Court Speaker: Steven Wagner, Erlanger Children's Hospital $12.   TUES/24 Grand Re-Opening of Food City 5 - 5:30 p.m. Food City:  7804 E. Brainerd Rd .   THUR/26 Reality Check - East Ridge High School ... (click for more)

Catherine Heigel Named Chief Operating Officer For Elliott Davis

Catherine Heigel, the former director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, has returned to Elliott Davis, LLC as its chief operating officer.  In this role, Ms. Heigel manages the firm’s operational support functions, including legal, information technology, human resource, marketing and communications, and firm administration. In addition, ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain To Hold Public Meetings On Idea Of Setting Up Own School System

Discussion about follow-up public meetings regarding the Signal Mountain School System Viability Committee (SMSSVC) report dominated the council’s work session on Friday afternoon. Council member Dan Landrum’s opinion about how to proceed differed from the other four council members. Mr. Landrum argued to end the study and to hold no public meetings. His reason was that of the 738 ... (click for more)

Travis Caslin, 42, Shot While Walking Along South Willow Street

Chattanooga Police said a man was shot on Friday night while walking along South Willow Street.   The victim was identified as Travis Caslin, 42.   At 7:37 p.m., Chattanooga Police officers were called to a local hospital after a person showed up with a gunshot wound.   Police were informed that the victim's condition was non-life threatening. ... (click for more)

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Myth And Fact Check

My husband and I recently had the privilege of participating in the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in Chattanooga. I listened as my husband told the audience about how his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when he was nine and how she died from the disease when he was fourteen. As a child, my husband didn’t understand what breast cancer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

Bill Pennington, a sports writer for the New York Times, was lamenting the “huddle” is slowly disappearing in football due to the faster pace of the game and, during his search for more information, he called former Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann. Bill wrote that Joe couldn’t stop laughing about the funny things that would happen between plays. Joe told this story: ... (click for more)