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Ex-Marion Community Schools CFO charged with theft over $26K in gift card purchases

Grant County prosecutors charged Bumgardner with Theft, a level 6 felony.
Posted at 9:12 AM, Mar 21, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-21 12:59:03-04

MARION — According to a state audit released this week for Marion Community Schools, the district’s former Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is on the hook for more than $26,000 in gift card purchases he made on the taxpayer’s dime.

The audit found Scott Bumgardner, who was CFO at the time, used his school district procurement card to purchase restaurant and VISA gift cards.

When confronted, Bumgardner told the district’s treasurer the gift cards were to “reward people who helped him with the budget.”

However, the Indiana State Board of Accounts found of 28 gift cards purchased between August 31, 2023 and September 19, 2023 only 5 gift cards were given to school employees.

In total, the SBOA found Bumgardner purchased 58 gift cards totaling $26,448 between July and October 2023.

The Indiana State Board of Accounts forwarded the report to the Grant County prosecutor.

Grant County prosecutors charged Bumgardner with Theft, a level 6 felony.

Records show Bumgardner was hired in July 2023 and resigned from Marion Community Schools in October 2023 amid concerns about his card purchases.

The district notified the Indiana State Board of Accounts in October 2023 about Bumgardner’s purchase activity, according to the audit.

WRTV contacted Bumgardner’s criminal defense attorney for comment and we are waiting to hear back.

The State Board of Accounts racked up more than $5,000 in special investigation costs looking into the matter.

Also, SBOA criticized the district’s lack of internal controls regarding the use of procurement cards.

“When Bumgardner was initially questioned about the purchases and stated he had documentation as to who received the cards, officials did not insist upon seeing the documents to validate who the cards were given to and for what purpose,” read the audit. “Officials did not take immediate action to enforce their own policies including revocation of the Pro-Card use, and repayment of the misused funds.”

WRTV Investigates contacted Marion Community Schools’ superintendent.

We found this statement on their website issued March 20:

“Marion Community Schools is grateful for the assistance of law enforcement officials and the Indiana State Board of Accounts to quickly address concerns regarding suspicious financial transactions discovered by our Business Office in fall 2023.

As has been publicly reported, Scott Bumgardner, who served as Chief Financial Officer for Marion Community Schools for about three months, has been charged with felony theft in connection with allegations that he made inappropriate charges to a corporate credit card, totalling about $26,000.

“We are grateful to our Business Office staff for their vigilance,” MCS Superintendent Keith Burke said. “They correctly implemented the checks and balances we have in place.”

Superintendent Burke also noted that the school system carries the necessary insurance to address such a situation. 

“Taxpayers can rest assured that we take our responsibility with their money very seriously,” he said.

Bumgardner’s employment with Marion Community Schools ended officially on Oct. 13, 2023, though he had previously been placed on administrative leave during the investigation.”
Marion Community Schools

Bumgardner also worked at the Huntington County Community Schools Corporation as business manager.

Prosecutors in Huntington County charged him on March 19 with 20 felonies, including theft and corrupt business influence, alleging he misspent nearly half a million dollars using gift cards bought with taxpayer dollars.

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