Columbus – A finding for recovery of $17,861 was issued Tuesday against the former fiscal officer for the Knox County Engineer’s Office, who was sentenced to prison earlier this year after admitting he used a county credit card to make personal purchases, Auditor of State Keith Faber announced.
Chester Woods III is serving a 15-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to felony counts of theft in office and insurance fraud, along with a weapon under disability charge in a separate case.
The Auditor of State’s Special Investigations Unit determined Woods improperly used a county credit card to purchase tools, auto parts, and painting supplies for his own use, totaling $9,076. Knox County Sheriff David Shaffer’s office assisted with the execution of a search warrant that led to the recovery of numerous items illegally purchased with public funds.
A finding for recovery against Woods was included in Knox County’s 2021 single audit, released Tuesday, seeking repayment of the $9,076 that was stolen and $8,785 in audit costs.
He earlier was ordered by Knox County Common Pleas Court to repay $2,000 to Broadspire Insurance, after an investigation by the Ohio Department of Insurance found Woods committed additional fraud, receiving a settlement after submitting a false dental claim.
Since 2019, the Special Investigations Unit has assisted in 85 convictions resulting in more than $2.7 million in restitution (Map of SIU Convictions Since January 2019: https://ohioauditor.gov/fraud/convictions_map.html). The team receives hundreds of tips of suspected fraud annually. Tips can be submitted anonymously online or via SIU’s fraud hotline at 1-866-FRAUD-OH (1-866-372-8364).