I am our ward financial clerk and just became aware that rent receipts submitted may be fraudulent. What should I do?
Thank you for your question. It is unfortunate that you have been placed in this position, a position of doubt. There are many families who sincerely need assistance and we should do our part to assist them within the framework of the Church’s welfare system. It is unfortunate, but there are individuals who from time to time will attempt to take advantage of this system as well as the generosity of the members. You have been set apart in your calling as a Ward Financial Clerk. You are given responsibilities and stewardship to care for and watch over the finances in the Ward under the direction of the Bishop. It is ultimately the Bishop’s responsibility to approve/release welfare funds to individuals, however, it is within your purview to bring concerns to his attention. If you are concerned about or suspect fraudulent behavior you should be discussing it with both the Ward Clerk and Bishop.
An experienced Bishop should know how to navigate around this situation once it is brought to his attention. If he is not as seasoned, he is able to consult with the Stake President or other Bishops in your stake. As a Clerk you can always submit this and other clerk related questions to forum members on the Church’s LDS Tech forum. (click here).
Typically, to help reduce fraud in the Church’s Welfare system, assistance checks are written directly to the landlord rather than reimbursing the individual person. If you have further doubts, the Bishop can always request to speak with or visit with the landlord directly. It should be a rare case that you are issuing rent checks to the individual instead of the landlord.
I wish you the best and thank you for your service as you watch over the funds of the church.