A former account manager at Pima Joint Technological Education District stole nearly $12,300 in cash payments from students, parents and others affiliated with the district, according to an investigation by the state auditor general.

The manager stole nearly 50 percent of the cash payments he collected between March 2016 and August 2016, the auditor general found. He pocketed progressively larger percentages of the payments over the six months he worked at JTED.

The auditor general’s report said the employee tried to cover his tracks by forging at least one cash deposit form and by omitting and falsifying receipts in the district’s accounting software.

JTED officials did not independently review the former account manager’s deposits, the investigation found. His actions went unnoticed until an employee reviewed cash deposits in August 2016 while the manager was on a leave.

JTED fired the manager and reported him to the Pima County Sheriff’s Department in September 2016, shortly after district personnel discovered fraudulent activity had taken place, according to JTED spokesman Greg D’Anna.

The money the manager stole was from cash payments for student fees, club dues, fundraiser donations and “student enterprise” accounts, D’Anna said.

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

In response to the incident, JTED has adjusted how it manages money and teaches employees to handle money.

“We’ve implemented trainings, we’ve tightened controls, and we have practically eliminated cash transactions,” D’Anna said. “We always move to prosecute anyone who commits a crime against the district or taxpayers of Pima County.”

It is uncertain if Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is going to prosecute the former employee, D’Anna said.

Contact reporter Brenna Bailey at 573-4279 or bbailey@tucson.com. On Twitter:

@brennanonymous.

Reporter

Brenna explains how national, state and local K-12 education issues impact Tucson schools. She's a proud product of Arizona public schools. Send her news tips, story ideas and existential life questions at bbailey@tucson.com.