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Audit report details over $300K in theft from school corporation

KOSCIUSKO COUNTY, Ind. -- The Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation in Kosciusko County is owed more than $300,000 from the estate of its former treasurer, according to a state audit. The treasurer, Sherri Adamson, committed suicide hours after she was questioned about undocumented expenditures.

The investigation began with a report from the Kosciusko County Sheriff's Department regarding a stolen purse. [Click here to read the report]

On December 30. 2012, Tippecanoe Valley School Treasurer Sherri Adamson reported her purse missing from a Walmart in Plymouth.

On January 5, police recovered the purse and checked the contents inside to make sure everything was there.

Inside, police found 4 checks made out to Adamson from the schools account and a receipt from the school's credit card that totaled more than $1500.

On January 7th, the superintendent and school resource officer met with Adamson where she was fired.

She said it was a mistake and fled from school property.

Later, police found her dead on her property with a gunshot wound to the head.

Then, the Indiana State Board of Accounts examined records from the school corporation from January 2010 to January 2013.

The 15 page report details 34 undocumented checks to the treasurer totaling nearly $35,000. [Click here to read the audit report]

"Typically if you went to Walmart you would ask for a receipt or if you would or it should have reference to a contractual payment so that document can be pulled,” said Paul Joyce, Deputy State Examiner.

The report also says Adamson amassed $200,000 worth of debt on the school’s credit card.

Along with the state’s official report is the school corporation’s response to the situation. In it, the school Superintendent Brett Boggs says the corporation deeply regrets the circumstances leading to the audit and that immediate actions were taken to prevent something similar from happening again.

According to the state, an audit report with charges totaling $307,000 is uncommon in Indiana.

"It would have been more than average just four or five a year that possibly exceed that amount,” said Joyce.

While this has been a long process, it's not over. The report has been turned over to the Attorney General and Prosecuting Attorney.

Boggs says the school district’s bond, taken out on anyone that oversees the books, should cover the total amount unaccounted for and reimburse the school corporation.

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