Audit: $25 Million Missing From AG’s Escrow Fund
State auditors are unsure if the Attorney General’s Office improperly spent nearly $25 million. Beth Davis with the Legislative Auditor’s Office says they requested support for 28 transactions totaling $24.7 million from an escrow account that receives money from court settlements, fines, and other penalties.
“Twenty-six, the department was not able to provide any records to support, and the other two, they provided some record, but they were incomplete,” Davis said.
Davis says they can’t say whether or not any illegal transactions took place, because there is no documentation, but they can’t confirm the dealings were appropriate either. She says they’ve asked the AG’s Office to explain what happened to the money.
“The explanation we got was that it was the result of turnover in key personnel where they were unable to locate records or explain the records they could locate,” Davis said.
AG Jeff Landry, who took office in January, issued a statement blaming his predecessor for poor-record keeping. But Davis says the transactions occurred over the span of two fiscal years- the one ending June 30 of 2015 and the one ending June 30 of 2016.
“Most of that would have fallen under the previous administration, but of course we did have six months of the fiscal year ’16 that was under the current administration,” Davis said.