The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up | Manage  Green editions icon Green editions

Calendar

Splash! Summer guide

HeraldNet Headlines
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.
Published: Monday, November 19, 2012, 4:13 p.m.

$450K stolen from Gold Bar's bank accounts

The city has so far recovered about $230,000 and is working to get back the rest

GOLD BAR -- Fraudsters apparently hacked into bank accounts belonging to the city of Gold Bar over the past year and stole nearly half a million dollars.
The city has recovered about $230,000 of the $450,000 taken, Mayor Joe Beavers said Monday.
City officials are working with the bank and are hopeful they'll recover the rest soon, he said.
"We're working diligently to chase these things down," he said.
The case is being investigated by the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office near Portland, Ore., as part of a probe into a multi-state financial fraud ring, sheriff's Sgt. Adam Phillips said. The Special Investigations Unit there is working alongside the FBI and the IRS, in part because the case involves alleged wire fraud.
Federal investigators assigned to both Seattle and Portland offices are involved, Phillips said.
The Snohomish County Sheriff's Office has been working with city officials to keep them informed, but is not part of the investigation, sheriff's spokeswoman Shari Ireton said.
Gold Bar officials first became aware of the problem around November 2011, Beavers said.
At the time, someone was unsuccessfully attempting to pass fake checks made out from city accounts, he said. The city contacted law enforcement and the state Auditor's Office.
The city closed out that bank account and opened others, but the hackers managed to get into those as well, Beavers said.
"It was a very knowledgeable group of people," he said. "They really whacked up on us hard."
Gold Bar has made headlines in recent months for financial problems connected to public records disputes.
The city still is developing its 2013 budget, but it has been making payroll and paying the bills, despite the added strain from the fraud, Beavers said. City officials also have taken measures to bolster Gold Bar's online security.
At least one suspect in the fraud ring has been arrested recently on an unrelated charge, Phillips said.
The case's lead investigator was out Monday, so additional information about the crime ring, suspects and other potential arrests wasn't immediately available.
Earlier this year the city's former clerk-treasurer resigned after allegedly stealing $395.
Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.
Story tags » Gold BarCrimePoliceFraud

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.

HeraldNet highlights

Making a strong impression
Making a strong impression: Scruggs eager to finally make an impact with Seahawks
Dark secret in Darrington
Dark secret in Darrington: True-crime novel brings serial killer to light
He's got soul
He's got soul: Star shines in James Brown biopic
'Guardians' gets it right
'Guardians' gets it right: Chris Pratt plays it perfectly as an oddball space hero