Interim Treasurer Fiatala Manu of the First Samoan Christian Congregational Church in Santa Ana has recently been charged with the embezzlement of upwards of $110,000.

It is alleged that Manu wrote checks to himself from church bank accounts to feed a gambling addiction.
He was called on the carpet about it when an Assistant Treasurer noticed the funds missing. Subsequently Manu was arrested during a church meeting and now could face more than 11 years in prison.

This could have been prevented by strengthening the organization’s internal controls. 

Reduce your risk and strengthen your internal controls by implementing: 

  • Separation of duties
  • Quality of employees
  • Bonded employees
  • Periods of absense
  • Procedures manual
  • Clear lines of authority and responsibility
  • Pre-numbered documents
  • Physical control over assets
  • Tests of controls
  • Controlling cash
  • Bank reconciliations
  • Whistleblower policy.

Click here for a video of the report. 

By Kim Onisko, CPA

Kim Onisko is a Partner with Onisko & Scholz, Certified Public Accountants, LLP. You can find him on Google+. He has been in public accounting for over 20 years and has a specialty in forensic accounting.