Improper Disbursements Found in DHS Program

MARCH 17, 2005 - Posted at 7:41 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - State auditors are looking into nearly $200,000 in unauthorized disbursements at a Department of Human Services program.  But the auditors say they do not believe anyone at the Temporary Employment Assistance program embezzled the money.

The situation is being investigated by both state police and the FBI.

A report from the state Division of Legislative Audit says unauthorized disbursements between June 15, 2004 and September 1, 2004, totaled $198,987.

An audit supervisor says an outside person somehow had access to the account number and used the state funds to pay his own bills.

As of January 26, all but $3,300 of the missing sum had been recovered.

The money was discovered missing during a routine accounting procedure.

The employment program was created in 1997 to help people make the transition from welfare rolls to work.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)