Colorado Town Pays Over $1 Million To Fraudulent Company
The Town of Erie, Colorado has been the victim of fraud after paying over $1 Million to a phony account.
The suspect made a payment change request on the town's website from a check to an electronic funds transfer. The transfer, in the amount of $1,016,233.80 was done in two installments electronically to the account, and not to the contractor, SEMA Construction, the company that had built the Erie Parkway Bridge.
After being notified by their bank of the fraud, the town cut a check to SEMA construction for the same amount. As a result of the fraud, the town has removed that option from their website.
Town officials noted that once the money was transferred into the account it was moved out of the country.
As the town of Erie has grown, so too has the need for more oversight. The town had added, prior to the theft, three positions that would, in all likelihood, keep something like this from occurring again.
The Erie Police Department is working with the FBI to find the responsible party and bring them to justice. They are also working on filing a claim with their insurance company to recover the stolen funds.