Bay Area Audit: Fraud at SCUSD

NBC Bay Area has uncovered a new audit of the Santa Clara Unified School District alleging fraud and double dipping by staff

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    A new audit of the Santa Clara Unified School District (SCUSD) claims staff committed fraud, misappropriated funds and was double dipping, totaling over $100,000.

    NBC Bay Area obtained a copy of the audit from SCUSD through a public records request.

    The audit alleges that Assistant Superintendent of Business Services, Jim Luyau, and other top management staff accepted payment to themselves, instead of the district, for accounting services SCUSD is contracted to provide to other agencies.

    This is a violation of a contract, signed by Luyau.

    SCUSD is contracted to perform the accounting and bookkeeping for two Joint Power Associations: South Bay Area Schools Insurance (SBASI) and Silicon Valley Transportation (SVT).

    The audit compared transaction reports in fiscal years 2008-2009 through 2010-2011. During that three year time period, the two joint powers paid $118,000 for accounting services.

    According to the audit, SCUSD only received $11,500 of that. It shows the rest of the payments were made directly to the employees, as independent contractors.

    The audit also claims employees were “double dipping,” since over 90 percent of the transactions were done during normal business hours. Meaning, employees were receiving their regular SCUSD salaries, while also accepting self-employment payment from the agencies.

    The audit claims any work the SCUSD employees performed as independent contractors during regular work hours should be considered illegal.

    The audit found that out of 168 SBASI-JPA transactions reviewed, four were misreported as going to SCUSD when really, 10 payments totaling $45,000 were paid directly to SCUSD employees.

    NBC Bay Area reached out to the employees named in the audit for comment, but received no response.

    SCUSD Superintendent Bobbi Plough told NBC Bay Area the district will give its employees the opportunity to respond and plans to perform its own investigation. The audit appears on the SCUSD board agenda for next Thursday, October 11.

    The Santa Clara County Office of Education told NBC Bay Area, the Santa Clara County Superintendent of Schools will defer comment until next week when the audit is presented before the SCUSD board meeting next Thursday.

    The audit was performed by an independent auditor per the request of the Santa Clara County Office of Education.

    NBC Bay Area obtained a copy of the audit from SCUSD.

    To view the complete audit, click here

    To view the audit's exhibits, click here

    If you have a tip for the investigative unit, email us theunit@nbcbayarea.com
     

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