The City of Tenino lost $280,309 of its one-million-dollar 2020 budget in an email phishing scam, according to a report published today by State Auditor Pat McCarthy.
“We calculated $336,968 in inappropriate ACH (automated clearing house) payments,” the State Auditor reported in a document addressed to the Tenino City administration yesterday.
McCarthy added that of the amount lost between March 20 to May 4 of 2020, $56,659 was recovered, with the city government ending up with a net loss of $280,309 in irregular transactions.
In the report, Tenino’s former Clerk-Treasurer received an email from an association’s past president asking for help paying its bills. Immediately after receiving the email, the clerk sent $2,890 to an unknown Ohio recipient, providing more payments until May 5, 2020.
The former Clerk-Treasurer "served in the U.S. military until 2016 and received specialized training in cybercrime," according to the report, which added that he joined the City of Tenino in May 2016.
The report declined to identify the former Clerk-Treasurer, other than to state that he "resigned from his position and moved out of state."