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Auditor Accused of Collecting, Keeping $117K


By Julie Montanaro
May 7, 2014

A state contractor is accused of stealing more than $100,000 in unclaimed property.

The woman had been hired to find unclaimed property and place it in either the state's coffers or its vault.

This vault is where the state of Florida keeps millions in unclaimed property. It includes everything from a diamond and emerald necklace to a Jackie Robinson rookie card.

Most of the state's 1.6 billion dollar inventory is money.

A spokesman for Florida's Department of Financial Services says Rebecca Lea Adams owned one of the firms the state hired to audit companies to make sure they are turning over unclaimed funds and valuables as required by law.

"Ms. Adams is a certified public accountant, so she does have the credentials to do the type of work that we were looking at," said Rick Sweet with the Division of Accounting and Auditing. "We had no reason to know that this might occur."

Now Adams - former owner and president of Compliance Services Group or CSG - is accused of aggraavted white collar crime and fraud in excess of 100 grand.

Arrest papers says she audited a Miami company, collected
$117,041 and instead of keeping 15% as her contract allowed, investigators say she kept it all.

"She held onto that money for a little over a year and eventually transferred that money out of one account and into an operating account and spent it on personal expenses," Sweet said.

The Department of Financial Services says this has never happened before. Now they're asking companies to report any and all payments to the state to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Arrest papers say Adams continued to submit progress reports to the state even after she finished her audit and collected the money.

A DFS spokesman says they have alerted other southern states who may have contracts with Adams too.


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