As much as $30,000 may be missing, internal audit finds

Lake Oswego’s Chamber of Commerce has asked police to investigate the possibility of check fraud and unauthorized credit card use after an internal audit showed that as much as $30,000 may be missing from the chamber’s accounts.

Chamber Board President Doug Cushing reported the discrepancy to Lake Oswego police on May 13. Police Sgt. Tom Hamann said this week that the department does not comment on investigations until they are concluded.

Cushing refused to say Wednesday whether the alleged theft of funds was discovered as part of a routine audit, or what might have prompted the Chamber to conduct its own investigation. However, Keith Dickerson, the Chamber’s executive director, did say in a written statement that the organization is working with its accountants to analyze reporting systems and is “implementing additional steps to address the handling of Chamber funds and payment approval procedures.”

The person suspected in the case is no longer employed by the Chamber, Cushing said.

Dickerson said the Chamber has initiated a preliminary claim with its insurance carrier, which is “likely to cover the loss.”

“While the police continue their investigation, the Chamber board and staff will refrain from commenting further,” Dickerson said. “Even though this is a serious concern, the alleged loss will not impact the day-to-day operations of the Chamber, or its abilities to serve its membership or the community.”

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