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Thousands of dollars missing from Museum of Idaho

Crime Watch

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museum of idaho

IDAHO FALLS — As many as 130 days worth of financial records are missing, along with potentially over $100,000 from the Museum of Idaho.

Bonneville County Historical Society has filed suit against former manager of business affairs a month after receiving a letter from a local accounting firm.

Amanda Gunderson is responsible for falsifying revenue on accounting software, according to the lawsuit. It was allegedly to cover up more than $82,000 in cash stolen, but it could be more or less, the lawsuit claims.

The lawsuit requests damages to be determined at trial and it also requests attorney fees be included.

The investigation into the loss of cash started several months ago. Everyone who had access to the cash was investigated, and all but one person was ruled out.

“The one person who was involved in all aspects of the revenue cycle, who had access to the cash at all times and the ability to record and reconcile the cash and revenue amounts was the former manager of business affairs,” wrote certified public account Sheri Poulson in a letter to the Board of Directors of the Museum of Idaho.

Poulsen said $46,835 to $107,378 was stolen between the months of August 2012 to July 2013. However, “multiple individuals, ranging from volunteers working the entrance desk and museum store to individuals in the business office, had access to the cash,” she said.

Poulsen also wrote that she believes that the thefts ceased in July 2013, when Gunderson lost her job due to a downsizing at the museum to save costs.

“This lack of segregation of duties and inadequate controls over cash created an environment in which the fraud could perpetuate and remain undiscovered by management,” Poulsen wrote in the letter.

The Bonneville County Prosecutor’s Office said it is unaware of any active criminal investigation.

David Pennock, the museum’s executive director, told EastIdahoNews.com that “all actions in pursuing this investigation was done by the Board of Directors. I was not involved in the investigation in any way.”

He also said no donor or sponsor money was missing. The missing money was from cash transactions only.

“The Museum of Idaho is completely open and wants to be transparent regarding the issue,” Pennock said.

EastIdahoNews.com reached out to Gunderson, but she declined to comment.

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