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Posted at 12:48 AM ET, 10/22/2010

City officials looking at allegations of fraud in jobs program

The Department of Employment Services is looking into allegations that a staffer embezzled funds after stealing the identities of up to a half-dozen youths in the city's jobs program, according to city officials.

WUSA9 broke a story Thursday night that "tens of thousands" of dollars may have been stolen through an alleged identity theft and transfer of funds to a bank in North Carolina. According to WUSA9, the staffer inflated the pay of participants in the summer youth employment program by anywhere from $7 to $25 an hour. The station, however, did not disclose how many participants were involved or the source of the information. Council member Michael A. Brown ((I-At Large), who oversees the employment department in committee, said his office had heard about the possible fraud and would ask the city auditor, Deborah K. Nichols, to investigate.

In an e-mail, Drew Hubbard, Brown's aide, said the council staff is trying to get information from the Office of the Chief Financial Officer. Hubbard said the allegations involved one staffer and "5 or 6 kids."

The allegations could involve three to four youths and a staffer, but no one has been terminated at this time, according to a source in the Department of Employment Services. The allegations may not have involved the summer jobs program but a smaller year-round program for youths.

Department staff is scheduled to meet Friday morning to address the allegations.

By  |  12:48 AM ET, 10/22/2010

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