Bowie County to pay jurors in cash due to check fraud

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Monday New Boston, Texas | Bowie County Commissioners court discussed switching to paying Jurors with cash payments for their service instead of checks due to recent check fraud.

Bowie County Judge James Carlow said that someone ‘up north’ had made fake copies of the jury fund checks and attempted to deposit them using a mobile check deposit program. The bank realized the checks were fraudulent and the county did not lose any money.

The Count’s bank now requires that all checks must be verified online daily by a county employee or they will be returned.

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The court voted to switch to cash payments to eliminate the chance of future check fraud. The cash payment process will have multiple levels of control and a minimal amount of cash will be left in the courthouse safe overnight.

Todd Pruitt, a certified public accountant for the Waco, Texas-based Pattillo, Brown and Hill accounting firm presented the yearly audit report to the court.

“You have to make changes going forward or you are going to find yourself back in the same boat you were in before,” Pruitt said. “You just can’t continue to spend $1-$2 million more than you bring in every year.”

Pruitt recommend the county come up with a minimum fund balance they would like to have and adopt a policy. “Usually those things start at two months of expenditures in your unrestricted fund balance,” he said.

“We would like the county to take a look at the general fund and decide what the balance should be and then develop a plan to get it there,” he said. “You’ve got to adopt a feasible budget where your recurring revenues will pay for your recurring expenses and once adopted you have to stick to it.”

View Bowie County Single Audit Report for year ended September 30, 2014.

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