Audit confirms I-Team Investigation: College Park secret bank accounts misappropriated money
ATLANTA - An independent audit of two secret bank accounts in the city of College Park confirmed the findings of a recent I-Team investigation.
Auditors found mishandling and misappropriation of hundreds of thousands of dollars from an account opened in 2010 and shut down six years later.
Senior I-Team reporter Dale Russell says those findings turned over to the FBI
College Park city manager Terrence Moore's disappointment came after reviewing this outside audit of two secret city bank accounts that found mishandled and misappropriated funds.
The facts were uncovered during a FOX 5 I-Team investigation that found between 2010 and 2016 hundreds of thousands of dollars flowed through two College Park Tracey Wyatt Recreation Center accounts, with more than a third of the money withdrawn as cash.
The account was discovered under former longtime Mayor Jack Longino by an interim finance director. The account was immediately shut down. But, no investigation was done until the I-Team requested the bank records.
We tried to get answers from then city councilman Tracey Wyatt, whose district included the Rec Center named after him. He had no comment.
When our report aired, newly elected Mayor Bianca Motely Broom ordered an immediate outside audit.
The audit, which was completed right before the COVID19 shelter in place order from the Governor, confirmed the FOX 5 findings and found even more questionable spending. Auditors concluded the money was mishandled, misappropriated, and created conflicts of interest.
Auditors found during a six-year period beginning in 2010 $350,189 flowed through two rec center bank accounts. And 36% of all that money - $124,858 - was cash withdrawals. Including $44,455 dollars withdrawn from ATMs.
Auditors found those employees - then Director of Recreation Emmanuel Rainey and Supervisor of the Tracey Wyatt Rec Center Cresit Dowdell - opened the two accounts. Both have since been fired.
Auditors found the accounts were funded by and spent on AAU basketball events...as well as other community events. There were no tax dollars involved.
Terrence Moore believes the problems of the past accounts are now behind the city. He says they have adopted 15 recommendations by auditors, including no more cash withdrawals from any accounts. Moore turned the findings over to the FBI.