Crime & Courts

County announces department affected by $566,000 fraud

The outside of the Sedgwick County Courthouse at 525 N. Main in downtown Wichita is seen in September 2015.
The outside of the Sedgwick County Courthouse at 525 N. Main in downtown Wichita is seen in September 2015. File photo

Fraudulent activity that cost Sedgwick County more than a half million dollars affected the government’s finance department, authorities said in an e-mail Friday.

The announcement is the latest tidbit of information released in an otherwise tightly guarded investigation tracing the theft of $566,088.90. The case was made public Wednesday — a day after the county’s deputy chief financial officer, Richard Durham, told the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office the county had become the victim of fraud in recent weeks.

Until Friday, authorities and county officials had refused to say which department was impacted by the fraud.

Information on the suspect or suspects or details of what happened has not been released, Dehning has said, “to protect the integrity of an intricate investigation.”

“We want the public to know that our detectives are working diligently on this case,” Dehning said, “and they’re using all the resources available to them to solve this case.”

Those resources include help from the FBI, which has been called in to assist with the investigation. The FBI investigates violations of federal law, including crimes that cross state lines.

No one had been arrested as of Friday, Dehning said. The theft occurred sometime between Sept. 23 and Oct. 25, according to a law enforcement report documenting the case.

County Public Information Officer Kate Flavin would not say when the county planned to release new information about the fraudulent activity.

“It really depends on the investigation,” Flavin said.

Amy Renee Leiker: 316-268-6644, @amyreneeleiker

Daniel Salazar: 316-269-6791, @imdanielsalazar

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