Audit catches theft of funds at Clarksville utility

News release from state comptroller
A special investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office, in conjunction with the Clarksville Police Department, has found that former materials management technician Tony Hams stole at least $47,518 from Clarksville Gas and Water.

Mr. Hams stole the money over a five-year period by making online personal purchases using a gas and water department purchasing card (P-card). Mr. Hams bought children’s clothing, Oakley sunglasses, health and beauty products, a bow and arrow kit, and many other items for his personal benefit.

Mr. Hams concealed his theft by fabricating invoices and requisition forms. He also logged fictitious items into the gas and water department’s inventory records. All of the personal charges on the P-card were paid with gas and water department funds.

Tony Hams was terminated from Clarksville Gas and Water on January 26, 2016. On June 6, 2016, the Montgomery County Grand Jury indicted him on three counts of theft over $10,000, one count of official misconduct, and ten counts of forgery.

“This theft was allowed to continue for several years because Mr. Hams was responsible for both ordering and receiving inventory items,” said Comptroller Justin P. Wilson. “It is important that supervisors carefully scrutinize invoices and verify that all items that are ordered and received are for legitimate business purposes.”

Clarksville Gas and Water Department officials have indicated they have corrected the deficiencies in the department’s financial processes.