Brewster County Under Investigation After Thousands of Dollars Were Added to the Payroll

Brewster County Under Investigation After Thousands of Dollars Were Added to the Payroll

By: Zora Asberry

NewsWest 9

BREWSTER COUNTY - Brewster County is investigating after their payroll was hacked. The county treasurer discovered that thousands of dollars had been added to the payroll.

The fraudulent checks totaled $48,948.52 that would have been issued to 11 people who weren't employed by the county. The error was caught by county treasurer Ruth Staton while she was doing payroll.

"As I was doing it, I noticed this file, and I asked, what is this file, who are these people?" said Staton. "The bank said, they're your employees, and I said they're not my employees, I said I've never seen this before."

The bank went through their fraud division and was able to track the IP address. Staton then learned that the IP address came from a parking lot across the street from the bank.

"We're supposed to be transparent so I told the commissioners court about it and I told them everything I did, where it came from, that it was supposed to go in different accounts and it was stopped," said Staton.

After the County Judge and the commissioners court were notified, police got involved.

Brewster County Judge Eleazar Cano, said,  "I went ahead and made sure that all local law enforcement was aware of it, the county and the Sheriff, and he made sure that Homeland Security was brought in to make sure to follow through with the investigation."

The County Judge says whether the fraud is internal or external, the county plans on getting to the bottom of it.

"As soon as we have information to report, we will get the information out to the appropriate sources and we want to make sure that the folks in our county know that we're on top of it and we're going to use diligence to ensure our safety and security of our county resources," said Cano.