Former Stark County Treasurer Accused of Bilking Nearly $3M - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Mad Money: Former Stark County Treasurer Accused of Bilking Nearly $3M from Taxpayers

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STARK COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - Auditor of State Mary Taylor released the special audit investigation of the Stark County Treasurer's office revealing nearly $3 million missing from county bank accounts. Vince Frustaci, former Chief Deputy Treasurer in the Stark County Treasurer's office, was also charged Friday with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and one count of theft. He faces a maximum of ten years in prison. [Read the charges HERE]

"Investigations like this require that our specially trained auditors and investigators review thousands of documents and transactions to completely document the extent of the theft and help build a solid case against the perpetrator." Taylor said. "I am pleased that federal and local authorities worked with my staff to secure the charges against Mr. Frustaci."

Taylor's investigation reveals a total of $2,964,560 missing from county bank accounts. This includes $2,734,560 in public funds collected from taxpayers, but never deposited into county bank accounts and two county checks worth $230,000 Frustaci cashed at a local bank.

Taylor's office discovered the Stark County theft while conducting the county's annual financial audit during March, 2009. According to Taylor's report, Frustaci, who was on vacation when the issue was discovered, contacted the Auditor of State's office multiple times and asked that they stop their audit work until he returned. On March 30, 2009, Frustaci admitted to County Treasurer Gary Zeigler to stealing county money on the way to a meeting with an employee of First Merit Bank. He was fired on April 1, 2009.

Oftentimes the Auditor of State's office works with federal, state and local authorities to secure an indictment and seek prosecution of those responsible, which is the ultimate goal. Taylor says that is precisely what occurred in this case.

Taylor's office worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Attorney's office, the Stark County Prosecutor's office and the Stark County Sheriff's office during the course of the investigation.

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