Monte Woolstenhulme, Superintendent, Teton School District #401 office phone: (208) 228-5923, [email protected], Chris Isaacson, Chair, Board of Trustees for Teton School District #401, cell phone: (574)-286-4365, [email protected]
Jeanne Anderson, PR Consultant, Teton School District No. 401, mobile phone: (208)-360-6518, [email protected]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 10, 2018
Recovered School District funds have been deposited
Funds recovered by Comerica Bank — $484,332.66 – have been confirmed as deposited in the account of Teton School District #401 at the Bank of Commerce in Driggs. The funds were part of a fraudulent online transfer of $784,000. The fraud was discovered December 20, 2018 after Headwaters Construction did not receive an expected payment for its services as general contractor/construction manager on six school-building projects now underway.
It is unclear whether insurance will pay the balance or whether more of the funds will be found directly. The district is cooperating in ongoing investigations being conducted by the FBI, its insurance carrier (ICRMP), and financial institutions, as well as conducting its own internal investigation. The business manager of the district has been removed from his position with the district.
District policy is that construction payments are to be done exclusively with a physical check. To beef up oversight, the school board has initiated additional steps to its existing protocol, including signatures being required by the school board representative regarding payment approval, the vendor representative picking up the physical check and signing for it, and district staff confirming by phone that the physical check made in payment was actually deposited by the vendor.
The district is following up on questions raised and suggestions given by the public at a work-session held Monday, January 7, 2019. Several district subcontractors and professional contacts, including the COO of the Bank of Commerce and the district’s auditor Rudd and Company, plan to attend to provide updates to the public and the board at next week’s regularly-scheduled monthly board meeting (January 14, 2019).
Superintendent of Schools Monte Woolstenhulme hopes to provide additional updates about the investigations to the public and the school board at the meeting as well. It will begin at 5:30 pm and be livestreamed on the district’s Facebook page.
For more information, see FAQs regarding the fraud case at tsd401.org; click on the Google Drive icon at https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0BzreNl_iFC4rQUZ4ZnhLbkdzSlE and select 2018-2019; the file name is “FAQs regarding Fraud Case of TSD 401 FINAL (1).” (Note: depending on how you are accessing the information, you may need to also select Meeting Documents within the 2018-2019 school year folder, and go to the sub-folder called 2019.1 January Special Meeting.)