How to Report Fraudulent Check

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
jeffreyparry
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How to Report Fraudulent Check

Postby jeffreyparry » Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:36 pm

I recently found myself in this situation and I'm not sure of the best way to go about fixing it. I am the financial clerk in my ward.

A few weeks ago, my bishop was approached by a member of the ward who needed help paying for an upcoming therapist counseling session that was recommended to this member by another health professional. It was on short notice (the appointment was for the next day) and that particular office required payment up front (according to the member). The amount required was almost $500.

The bishop decided to cut the check from the fast offerings fund and told the member to give the receipt to him immediately after the appointment. The check was made out to "Dr." so-and-so.

The member was then arrested within a day or two for unrelated violations. The bishop called the group at which the therapist supposedly worked and that office had never heard of Dr. so-and-so. The bishop tried to visit the member at the county jail, but the member refused the visit. We had the member's mother, when she visited the member in jail, ask if the check had indeed been cashed. The member's reply was that the check had not been cashed and was still in the member's possession.

The next week, we saw on the monthly financial report that the check had been cashed (and the member was still incarcerated and remains so to the present). So now we are 95% certain that this member has defrauded the ward. We haven't been able to give the matter the attention it needs because of tithing settlement, but I would like to try to clean it up before the end of the year.

Does anybody know how to request a copy of the endorsed check? What steps can I take to find out where the check was cashed, and other important information? Most importantly, how do I report this incident? Thanks for your help.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Tue Dec 14, 2010 5:56 pm

Jeff Parry wrote:Does anybody know how to request a copy of the endorsed check? What steps can I take to find out where the check was cashed, and other important information? Most importantly, how do I report this incident? Thanks for your help.


Local Unit Support can definitely help you get a copy of the endorsed check, which should give some indication of where the check was cashed. As you talk to the support people, you will be reporting the issue. So I'm sure they can answer all your questions.
Questions that can benefit the larger community should be asked in a public forum, not a private message.

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gregwanderson
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Postby gregwanderson » Tue Dec 14, 2010 5:58 pm

I sense the right answer is to call Local Unit Support. But I would have the Bishop consult the handbook and talk to the Stake President. If they have no objections then I would definitely call the police (or have the Bishop do it... it would probably be more appropriate). This is a crime that may even be relevant to the charges that put this individual in jail already, even if you don't think so now.

jeffreyparry
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Postby jeffreyparry » Tue Dec 14, 2010 9:45 pm

Thanks for the replies. I'll contact Local Unit Support. I didn't realize there was an email address I could use (much better for me than trying to call during their hours).

The bishop and I have discussed contacting the police but I think we want to be totally sure that this is not some misunderstanding before we get this person in even more hot water.

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mlh78
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Postby mlh78 » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:25 am

Jeff Parry wrote: Most importantly, how do I report this incident?


I think you also ought to contact the Stake Audit Committee Chairman.

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gregwanderson
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Postby gregwanderson » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:49 am

Jeff Parry wrote:The bishop and I have discussed contacting the police but I think we want to be totally sure that this is not some misunderstanding before we get this person in even more hot water.


In some cases (like suspected sexual abuse of a child) the Bishop is required to call a certain department at Church Headquarters no matter what. While this is a different case, I still wonder if there is a policy in the handbook about it. Perhaps someone at Local Unit Support would tell you that there is something you MUST do no matter how much hot water you would create.

ecotim
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Postby ecotim » Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:16 am

From the handbook
14.9.5Loss, Theft, Embezzlement, or Misappropriation of Church Funds

[Handbook 1 quote removed]


So the Stake president should be contacted.

jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:38 am

ecotim wrote:From the handbook
14.9.5Loss, Theft, Embezzlement, or Misappropriation of Church Funds

[Handbook 1 quote removed]


So the Stake president should be contacted.
The stake president may provide some counsel on pursuing, or not pursuing, the matter. We had a situation in 2001 where services were never provided for which the ward had paid a significant amount. The stake president's counsel was to let it go. It was more important to avoid contention and to have charity and love than to pursue our legal rights.
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Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?


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