Birmingham Water Works appears to be victim of financial fraud

Birmingham Water Works Customer Service Center
Birmingham Water Works Customer Service Center(WBRC)
Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 3:05 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Birmingham Water Works Board appears to have been the victim of financial fraud after someone was able to alter a check from the utility and divert almost $130,000.

According to a police report and check copy provided by the BWWB, the $129,393.60 check was issued on June 21, 2021, to a vendor in Virginia. The police report says the contractor reached out to the BWWB days later to inquire about the location of the payment. Then, according to the police report, the utility was notified on July 6, 2021, that the check had been cashed and/or deposited into an account for the full amount.

The BWWB employee who made the police complaint told investigators they received a copy of the check that showed the “paid to” line of the check was changed from the contractor, to an individual and address in North Carolina. The report also says the check was endorsed with a signature matching the new name. It also showed the authorized signatures of 2 BWWB employees.

The BWWB says it filed both a police report and a report with the postal inspector, and funds were refunded back to the utility on March 29, 2022. The contractor has been paid for their services.

This is a corrected version of an earlier story that incorrectly reported the misdirection of the funds was a result of a mistake inside the utility. Our original report was based in part on the utility’s original statement in response to our inquiry about this event, which we have since learned that we misinterpreted. We strive for accuracy and fairness in our reporting and apologize for the error.

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