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Missing money from Weber may top $1 million

Published February 9, 2007 12:12 am

Records suggest alleged embezzlement may have gone on for 7 years
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2007, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Investigators believe more money may have been stolen from the Weber School District Foundation than previously thought, district spokesman Nate Taggart said Thursday.

Although the district alleged in January that a former foundation secretary had stolen more than $900,000 in donations over as many as five years, an ongoing review of records by the district suggested the total may have exceeded $1 million and the alleged embezzlement may have occurred over a longer period of time, Taggart said.

"I think we're back seven years," he said. "We will keep going back until it appears there's nothing else that has been taken."

No criminal charges have yet been filed in the case, but Denise Aughney of South Ogden, who worked part time as the foundation's secretary for 11 years, has been named in a lawsuit by the foundation accusing her of writing checks to herself since at least 2001. The lawsuit also names John Aughney, her husband, and Dale and Eunice Hardman, her parents, as defendants.

Aughney did not respond to requests to be interviewed.

She was fired on Dec. 20 after a review of foundation finances uncovered the alleged embezzlement, according to the lawsuit.

The Weber County Sheriff's Office joined the school district in investigating the matter. Chief Deputy Chris Zimmerman said Thursday his office has turned evidence over to the Weber County attorney.

The case follows charges filed in November against three former Davis School District employees who have also been accused of embezzling money intended for schoolchildren.

The Weber School District Foundation, a nonprofit, is separate from the school district and raises funds to help special needs children and to pay for activities for all district students such as artist in residence programs.

jlyon@sltrib.com