Starr County Treasurer's Clerk arrested following investigation of missing funds
A Starr County Treasury employee was arrested on Friday, Feb. 8, after investigators discovered missing money from a department account.
37-years-old Aracely Salinas was arrested after Starr County auditors found that some money appeared to be missing from one of their accounts.
"The amounts of the cash receipts were not matching the amounts of the cash, the actual cash deposits," said Starr County District Attorney, Omar Escobar.
Salinas was treasurer's clerk in charge of taking in daily cash money transactions and depositing them- something Escobar says should not have been allowed.
"Somebody independent should be doing the deposits from the actual receipts and that apparently was not happening, they weren’t making sure what was being deposited was matching the receipts," said Escobar.
According to the District Attorney’s office, Salinas was terminated last week after auditors found discrepancies in the bank deposits.
"For just one account they feel confident that it’s in excess of $6,000 just for one account," said Escobar.
Escobar adds that this isn't unfamiliar territory. Back in 2015, he was tasked with replacing the entire tax collectors offices for the same crime.
"So it’s not really the first time that we have this and I think tax payers are going to be angry," said Escobar.
Elva Garza, who lives in Rio Grande City, says she remembers the scandal in 2015, and says now because of it many places only accept money orders and credit cards.
Escobar says the next step is for the county to prevent these type of incidents from happening again.
"Maybe it can’t be done overnight but I think the process needs to begin where you know we just phase out cash transactions," said Escobar.
Salinas was charged with theft by a public servant, and has been released on a bond issued by Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace J.M “Chuy” Alvarez.
According to Escobar, she spoke with investigators about the missing money and will most likely be indicted and face a grand jury.