Kern County Treasurer victim of bank fraud

Posted at 11:35 AM, Feb 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-07 14:35:17-05

Two special district accounts managed by the Kern County Treasurer-Tax Collector's Office have been the victim of potential fraudulent activity, officials say Tuesday.

The special districts' clearing funds, which are used to help the districts pay their bills, were the victims of fraud.

The Kern County District Attorney's Office and the FBI are conducting an independent investigation to determine how the fraud occurred.

Because of the investigation, the Treasurer-Tax Collector's Office didn't want to identity the special districts or the extent of the fraud.


Potential Bank Fraud

On Friday, February 3, 2017, my office was alerted by our bank, Wells Fargo, of potential fraudulent activity on two special district clearing bank accounts.  I have contacted the District Attorney to initiate an independent investigation.

We are working with the bank to determine the exact extent of the fraud.  As soon as we have additional information as to the magnitude of the fraud, that will be provided to the public.  We are also in the process of determining how long the fraud had been occurring.

In communication with our bank, we are confident that the majority of the losses can be recovered but we do not know what the time frames of that recovery might be.  My office is in contact with the special districts to assist them in any way to maximize the recovery of their funds.

As soon as the fraud was discovered, immediate action was taken to secure the account from any additional fraudulent activity.  Additionally, my office has scoured all other accounts to confirm the fraud was confined to the two clearing accounts and to make sure all other accounts are blocked from additional fraudulent activity.

As a public official, transparency is critical to maintaining the public’s trust.  I am providing the public with all of the information that I have at this time.  I ask for patience from the media as we work through all of the information and details that may be forthcoming from the independent investigation.