The Barton County Treasurer’s Office wired $48,600 to a bank in Georgia in what was probably a scam, Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir said Wednesday afternoon in confirming a telephone news tip to the Great Bend Tribune.
Bellendir said the bank may have put a hold on the funds so the county may not be out anything. “We’re still not sure if a fraud has occurred.”
County Administrator Richard Boeckman said County Treasurer Kevin Wondra received an email purportedly from him advising Wondra to wire the money to a bank in Atlanta. Without contacting Boeckman, who did not send the message, and without following internal county procedures, he went to the bank and made the transfer.
Boeckman said he found out Tuesday afternoon. He soon contacted Information Technology Director John Debes who ran a check on the county’s security systems which appeared unscathed.
There were several other counties that received similar emails, Boeckman said. This is why there is a chance the bank put a fraud hold on the money and the county could get it back.
The incident remains under investigation, Bellendir said.