Audits failed to detect suspected embezzlement by Grand Haven school administrator, district says

GRAND HAVEN, MI – Annual audits failed to identify missing Grand Haven schools funds allegedly taken by the former deputy district superintendent, school administrators said.

Grand Haven-area Public Schools Superintendent Andew Ingall released a statement on Tuesday, November 30 following revelations that former Assistant Superintendent Brian Wheeler, 56, took more than $ 900,000 out of about seven years.

“Public schools in the Grand Haven area contract with professional accounting firms to perform annual audits. None of their findings revealed any irregularities, ”he said in a written statement.

“In light of our recent discovery, we are in the process of hiring an independent forensic auditor to fully investigate the situation. If any gaps in our processes are discovered, we will immediately make adjustments based on their recommendations. “

Related: Former West Michigan school administrator took over $ 900,000 from district, police say

In court documents, Grand Haven Public Safety investigators allege Wheeler was able to create bogus invoices from a bogus company called Infinity Electric. Wheeler allegedly used a spreadsheet program to create the invoices and then gave them to an “accounts payable” person for issuance of a check.

Wheeler was supposed to bring the checks directly to the outsourcing company, but in effect deposited them into a PNC bank account where he used a money transfer app to draw the funds.

The numerous bogus invoices involved amounts of around $ 7,000 each time and totaled over $ 900,000 from 2014 to a recent date when the alleged fraud was discovered.

Wheeler was charged with embezzling over $ 100,000 and using a computer to commit a crime.

The funds came from bond money destined for the district’s technology department, police said.

More from MLive

New superintendent of Dutch public schools resigns after less than 5 months on the job

Mental health support needed for Oxford high school students after shooting, state educators say

Governor Whitmer orders flags from half of staff in honor of Oxford High School shooting victims

Martha K. Merrill