Long Beach City Auditor Laura Doud launched a Fraud Hotline in 2007 and has provided annual reports of wrong-doing uncovered from tips to that line since last year.
In 2018, the auditor received 76 tips serious enough to open "cases." After investigations, nine of those cases were determined to have some truth to them — including two cases of payroll fraud and two of contract or vendor fraud. One case of outright theft of city cash or property also was uncovered.
“City fraud, waste and abuse affects all of us and reduces resources for important city services, including public safety, street repairs, libraries and parks,” Doud said in a release. “This is why my office continuously works to deter and detect fraud.”
No dollar figure of savings was offered this year. But Doud's office did make 21 "corrective action recommendations" regarding the nine cases determined to have some form of fraud.
Almost half, 47% of the calls made to the fraud hotline warranted city auditor investigation, the report said. Another 25% were referred to other city departments for action, and 12% were sent to county, state or federal agencies. The final 16% of calls either lacked merit or provided insufficient information to warrant an investigation.
The most common calls were for waste or abuse of city resources (12) and payroll fraud (12). There were four cases of waste or abuse resulting in recommendations for action.
There are three ways to anonymously report tips of alleged city fraud, waste or abuse 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to the auditor’s fraud hotline:
• Phone: 1-888-FRAUD-07 (1-888-372-8307)
• An online form at CityAuditorLauraDoud.com
• MyAuditor App available for free at the App Store or Google Play.
For more information about the city auditor's office, go to CityAuditorLauraDoud.com.