$344k in public funds taken by former Ouachita deputy clerk, state audit reports

(Source: KNOE)
Published: Jun. 7, 2022 at 10:12 AM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - A new report by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor says more than $340,000 in public funds were improperly taken by a former Ouachita Parish deputy clerk.

Auditors say it happened over the course of about four years. A summary of the audit said the following:

“Former Clerk of Court Deputy Clerk Donald J. Ryder, Jr. used an online money transfer system (PayPal) to divert $344,226 of public funds from the Clerk of Court to himself from December 24, 2014 to October 10, 2018. By improperly transferring and receiving public funds he was not entitled to received, Mr. Ryder may have violated state and federal law.”

The 34-page full report goes into more detail on the findings. You can read that below.

“Deputy Clerk for the Clerk of Court from June 18, 2001 until October 11, 2018. As Deputy Clerk, Mr. Ryder was responsible for the Clerk’s bookkeeping, payroll, bank deposits, and sometimes performed other accounting employees’ assigned duties when they were absent.”

The report states that Ryder operated the office’s Paypal account, which was used to take payment for access to the Ouachita Parish Clerk of Court’s online website. The report states Ryder claimed to have an agreement to pay his salary out of the office’s Paypal account, but the Ouachita Parish Clerk at the time, Louise Bond, told the auditor there was no such agreement.

The report says Ryder may have violated federal law.

You can read the full audit report below:

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