Manatee County Clerk & Comptroller prevents over $1.25 million in ineligible COVID assistance payments

The Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller's Division of Inspector General (IG) prevented over $1.25 million in ineligible and potentially fraudulent CARES Act funds and COVID assistance payments from being paid by reviewing applications totaling $10.2 million.

The IG reviewed payments for the Manatee County Housing Assistance and Small Business Grant Programs within the Economic Recovery category of CARES Act funding and the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program.

In addition to preventing ineligible payments, 33 potential fraud cases were identified and turned over to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office for further investigation. Furthermore, the office turned over 14 cases to the Manatee County Property Appraiser's office for possible homestead exemption fraud.

"These funds were saved by the diligent work of our Division of Inspector General," said Clerk & Comptroller Angel Colonneso. "I am pleased to share that our staff saved taxpayers over $1.25 million of ineligible expenses and potentially fraudulent expenses from being paid out."

The Clerk & Comptroller's office thanks Manatee County Government's Community and Veterans Services department management and staff for their assistance in completing this project.

The IG provides independent, objective assurance and consulting services designed to add value and improve the operations of Manatee County Government. As a service to management and the taxpayers of Manatee County, the Division of Inspector General measures and evaluates the efficiency and effectiveness of various Manatee County departments' and agencies' internal controls. These internal controls include a complex environment of federal, state, and local laws, regulations, policies, and procedures.

Click here to view a PDF of the report.