In June, Coppell became a victim of fraud when thousands of dollars were stolen from criminals posing as one of the city’s vendors. Tuesday, The Coppell City Council approved a request for proposal to perform a risk assessment to prevent another fraud situation.
Kim Tiehen, assistant director of finance, said McHard Accounting Consulting LLC will take on the assessment as well as redesign the city’s hotline, report the results to the council and conduct an additional statistical analysis, which is the potential outsourcing of vendor payments.
Tiehen said the risk assessment will be enterprise-wide, and McHard will talk with all city departments.
“It’s important that they speak with all the departments concerning all of the processes that would have the potential for fraud to be perpetrated from an outside source,” Tiehen said.
With the help of the U.S. Secret Service, the city was able to recover $631,994.11 of the $801,439.03 that was stolen in June. Officials said the money was electronically transferred to fraudulent accounts, and the issue involved human error. A city employee made the mistake and did not follow the policy in place in regards to a request to change electronic payments, according to city officials.
The cost of the assessment services will be approximately $160,000. Tiehen said the funds for the assessment will need to be provided by the general fund and designated fund balance. The cost of the project will be included in a future budget amendment.