Mastic Beach Board authorized a forensic investigation to examine past financial practices. 

JANUARY 21ST, 2015, VILLAGE OF MASTIC BEACH, N.Y.: In December 2015, the Village of Mastic Beach released the report issued in connection with the first of a two-part forensic investigation conducted by Cramer C.P.A., P.C. into various Village financial activities. Robin A. Cramer, President of Cramer C.P.A., P.C., has more than 25 years of industry experience and holds the following accreditations—Certified Public Accountants (C.P.A.), Certified Financial Forensics (C.F.F.) and Certified Fraud Examiner (C.F.E.). The findings of the first report can be found on www.masticbeachvillageny.gov/audits under the link VILLAGE OF MASTIC BEACH FORENSIC AUDIT PART 1 - VILLAGE INCEPTION–APRIL 2015. The first investigation uncovered grave concerns in the financial practices of the Village before April 2015 including:

  • Payroll records were altered and missing;
  • Overtime expenditures were manipulated;
  • Undocumented cash handling and missing cash-receipt records;
  • Inadequate cash depositing by unknown individuals;
  • Missing financial records;
  • Sporadic record keeping of building-permit payments

The report issued in connection with the second part of this forensic investigation will be released on January 21, 2016, and can be found on the Village website www.masticbeachvillageny.gov/audits under the link VILLAGE OF MASTIC BEACH FORENSIC AUDIT PART 2 - ROBINHOOD FOUNDATION. This investigation uncovered mismanagement by the Village of donated funds to Sandy Victims from the Robin Hood Foundation. At the heart of thereport on the Robin Hood Grant Receivedare these grave concerns:

  • There was no timely filing of the final accounting of the Village’s Robin Hood Foundation accounts;
  • The Village did not keep records properly;
  • The Village did not disperse the moneytimely or file for extensions;
  • The Village did not award proper amounts as per the Robin Hood Foundation guidelines;
  • The Village issued checks to vendors that were not approved by the Village Board in accordance with the Robin Hood Foundation protocol. One of these checks were issued on behalf of a former Trustee who was serving on the Board at the time;
  • Seven instances that award recipients changed vendors after vendor payments were approved by the Village Board, and one such charge was made for a recipient serving on the board as Trustee at the time and who was in charge of monitoring Robin Hood Foundation fund disbursements;
  • The Village gave out gift cards, and there is no accounting of who received them or on what the recipients spent their money;
  • 58% of the applications filed with the Village were improperly handled;
  • Only 42% of the total applications were duly awarded. More people received money improperly than properly;
  • Ten applications were erroneously denied;
  • The Village did not consistently follow the guidelines laid out by the Robin Hood Foundation especially when applying the income-eligibility criteria, so some of the people most in need did not get the funding;
  • Disbursements did not agree with awards;
  • The Village awarded more funding than was received from the Robin Hood Foundation and the Village’s accounts were never reconciled. This led to the question, “Why would the Village disperse more money than it received from the Robin Hood Foundation?”

Deputy Mayor Bruce Summa said, “Mayor Spery and this administration are commended for taking the initiative and bringing financial accountability and transparency to the Village of Mastic Beach. The Comptroller’s Office highly recommends that local municipalities undergo a forensic audit every five years to keep the leadership accountable and the financial house in order—we did just that—we uncovered some very disturbing financial practices in this audit, and we fixed them. Our Village is standing on secure financial ground because of the forensic investigation conducted.” 

Mayor Maura Spery added, “We continue to improve on our Village systems, policies and procedures. The Information-Technology Audit is still underway, and we expect a report in the next few months.”

The Forensic Investigation Reports Part 1 and 2 can be found on the Village website www.masticbeachvillageny.gov/audits.