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Sun Aug 8, 2021, 07:27 AM

Money stolen from Sugar City coffers returned

Money stolen from Sugar City coffers returned

Lisa Smith lsmith@uvsj.com Aug 5, 2021 Updated Aug 5, 2021

All but $300 of the $77,940 a Sugar City employee was conned into sending a scammer via a bank wire has been returned.

The money was stolen on July 20 and was returned to Sugar City bank accounts on Tuesday.

“The bank put it back. The small amount of difference was just bank fees and the work on the account,” said Sugar City Clerk Wendy McLaughlin.

The city took a collective sigh of relief when the money was returned, Mayor Steve Adams said.

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What that's about:

Sugar City scammed $77K intended for road work

By Lisa Smith lsmith@uvsj.com Jul 28, 2021 Updated Jul 29, 2021

Sugar City was caught in a scam after a con artist tricked the city clerk into sending nearly $80,000 under the guise of paying for road work. ... The incident began on July 16 with the money being sent on July 20. The city didn’t realize what had happened until the following day. ... The city council reported the incident during its July 23 meeting.

The city had budgeted $77,940.57 to the American Pavement Preservation Company to cover the cost of recent road work. No one but the city and the company knew the exact amount of the work done, reported the council. ... “The original amount ended up changing. We added some additional streets. They had to have had access to that amount through someone. Only very few people knew that amount,” said Sugar City Attorney Chase Hendricks.

Mayor Steve Adams said whoever stole the money knew the city’s relationship with the construction company. ... “The good news is that it’s a person who has very direct knowledge. The hope is that someone can get caught,” he said.

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On July 16 longtime clerk Wendy McLaughlin received an email from what she thought was the American Pavement Preservation Company. ... The email was instead from a scammer using the fake pgomez@americanspave.com email rather than the correct email of pgomez@americanpave.com. Notice the “s” between the words “American” and “pave” in the first email.

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