Spokane Police investigating theft of $50,000 from SNAP

Spokane Police investigating theft of $50,000 from SNAP

Spokane Police are investigating the theft of nearly $50,000 from Spokane Neighborhood Action Programs.

SNAP owns several low-income rental properties in Spokane County and has partnered with Coast Real Estate Services to manage those properties since 2008. As part of their partnership, Coast has been responsible for distributing rent payments to some tenants.

In December, SNAP internal financial controls detected an irregularity in a fund administered by Coast. Both SNAP and Coast immediately initiated a review of those funds. Spokane Police were notified and are currently investigating.

According to court documents, the suspect in the theft was a Coast employee. The suspect was responsible for collecting and depositing SNAP resident rental checks into the property bank account, and logging receipts of checks or delinquencies into the accounting software system.

The suspect is accused of depositing those rent checks into their personal account through ATMs. According to court documents, the suspect deposited checks at different ATMs on multiple occasions, with the first deposit of $6,300 reportedly happening on November 9, 2018. By mid-January of 2019, police were investigating, and the suspect had been terminated.

An independent forensic accountant is conducting an ongoing review of the missing funds. To date, the forensic accountant has verified $50,000 in missing funds.

On Monday, SNAP issued a statement saying their priority is ensuring that no client’s housing was affected by the situation. SNAP does not believe any clients were negatively impacted by the theft of the funds.

SNAP said they have maintained rental properties for over 25 years without problems until this incident. SNAP has since implemented even more rigorous checks and balances into processes and procedures.

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