Audit: Grand Rapids Home veterans missing $600K

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    iStockphoto

    A state audit released this month shows that the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans has, on multiple occasions since 2015, mishandled funds to the tune of $600,000 owed to veterans in its care.

    The Michigan auditor general’s report shows that the discrepancy between home residents’ trust and escrow accounts and their external bank balances was measured four times from 2015 to 2018, with veterans missing a total of $610,039 across the four instances. The largest and most recent reported discrepancy was $301,428 in February 2018.

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    Doug Ringler

    Michigan Auditor General Doug Ringler wrote in the report that “the Home indicated that the differences occurred because it deposits funds received on behalf of its members into the Home’s external general checking account and it had not properly moved those funds to the external member bank accounts.”

    The Michigan Veterans’ Affairs Agency (MVAA), which manages the home, wrote in response that “DTMB [Department of Technology, Management, and Budget] developed new processes … to ensure accuracy of member personal fund accounts. DTMB developed new processes, implemented between July 2016 and December 2018, to regularly reconcile and move funds between the general checking account and the proper external bank accounts.”

    The MVAA also told the Detroit Free Press last week that it’s transferred just over $300,000 into residents’ bank accounts in an effort to remedy the situation. The auditor general report notes that the home will be subject to another audit to ensure the proper steps have been taken for veterans to receive their funds.

    The audit also found that the facility’s security around its medication was inadequate and that it “could improve its administration of medications provided to members. We noted instances of unexplained late prescription refills; missed medication doses; and early, late, and improper medication administration.”

    The Home broke ground on a new facility in May.

    Derek Robertson
    Derek Robertson covers local government, education, health care and the social safety net, and LGBTQ issues. Previously, he wrote for Politico Magazine in Washington, and before that covered local politics in Chicago. He is a Genesee County native and graduate of both Wayne State University, where he studied history, and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He enjoys film, the Detroit Pistons and his cat. He once competed in the National Spelling Bee, but was eliminated before any potential ESPN appearances.

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