TCAT will enlist the services of an independent forensic auditing firm to further examine the circumstances surrounding alleged larceny charges filed against a former TCAT employee.
Local authorities on April 2 arrested TCAT accounts assistant Pamela Johnson charging her with 2nd degree grand larceny in connections with roughly $247,000 in misdirected funds. Irregularities were discovered during TCAT’s annual financial audit performed by an external accounting firm. TCAT subsequently conducted an internal investigation, brought in a local forensic auditing team for an additional review and contacted Ithaca City Police. Johnson was immediately suspended from her duties on March 18, pending the investigation. Upon charges being filed on April 2, TCAT officially terminated Johnson’s employment.
TCAT this week issued a Request for Proposal to be publicized via numerous publications and the TCAT web site to generate applications from auditing firms. The selected firm will be tasked with a comprehensive examination of TCAT financial records. The new audit will seek to confirm the amount of money in question; to review internal controls to determine how such crimes were perpetrated; and finally to make recommendations for improvements to prevent such incidents in the future.
“TCAT board members and management staff have been meeting and working non-stop to unravel the circumstances surrounding these charges,” said TCAT Board Chairman KyuJung Whang. “We want to assure our passengers, our community, our funders and our employees that we intend to thoroughly uncover all aspects of this alleged crime, to learn exactly how it was perpetrated, and to find out how to avoid similar crimes going forward.”
In the meantime, TCAT continues to fully cooperate with Ithaca City Police Department investigators and the Tompkins County District Attorney’s Office. In addition to the criminal charges and punishment associated with those, the District Attorney’s office will seek full restitution to TCAT.