FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 12, 2024
Legislative Audit Committee Sheds Light on Millions in Taxpayer Dollars Lost Due to Fraudulent Schemes Within K-12 Public School Districts & Arizona State University
PHOENIX, ARIZONA— Senate Majority Leader Sonny Borrelli is raising awareness about fraudulent schemes carried out within several Arizona K-12 Public School Districts and Arizona State University, leading to the loss of millions in taxpayer dollars over the past two years.
During Monday's Joint Legislative Audit Committee, Arizona Auditor General Lindsey Perry presented her findings from financial investigations conducted in 2023, which uncovered more than $1.8 million in losses and 34 criminal charges against five individuals within Arizona State University, Hyder Elementary School District, Gila Bend Unified School District, and the Department of Education. The charges related to theft, misuse of public monies, fraudulent schemes, forgery, conspiracy, and computer tampering.
In 2022, a similar financial investigation by the Auditor General revealed more than $980,000 in losses and 25 criminal charges against five individuals within Toltec Elementary School District, Wilson Elementary School District, and Glendale Elementary School district.
As Chair of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, Majority Leader Borrelli is calling for financial accountability and transparency within public school districts and universities in order to ensure taxpayer dollars are used for academic purposes and not criminal acts like fraud, theft, waste, and abuse, depriving students and teachers of resources to support their learning environments.
"Arizonans should have confidence knowing their tax dollars are being spent to educate students, but we're finding individuals within public school districts and public universities are illegally padding their personal bank accounts and purchasing gifts for themselves, like video game consoles, exercise equipment, and laptop computers," said Majority Leader Borrelli. "I implore Governor Hobbs and Democrats to stop their obsessive witch hunt focusing on the majority of honest families participating in the Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program, and to instead scrutinize the criminal activity happening right now in our public school districts and universities, which is robbing millions of dollars collectively from taxpayers, students, and teachers."
For more information, contact:
Director of Communications | Arizona State Senate Republican Caucus