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Mayor Steve Allender weighs in on the Rush embezzlement

 The Rush players playing hockey.
The Rush players playing hockey. (KOTA)
Published: Jul. 2, 2020 at 2:15 PM CDT
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Yesterday we told you about Jennifer Durham, she's the Rapid City Rush's former office manager, and according to a federal factual basis, statement stole almost a million dollars from the team.

Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender says there's something to be learned from the experience.

Allender says he's seen embezzlement before. The former police chief says, when video lottery opened in the 90s he saw an increase within the first six months.

He says having a single bookkeeper with little accountability is one of the biggest problems.

And he says that's what has happened here, a lack of oversight and a lack of auditing.

When it comes to the current Rush embezzlement charges, Allender says the city tried to help the Rush during years when the team was losing money. Years prosecutors say Durham was stealing from the team.

In 2017, in an effort to help, the city reduced the fees that the Rush organization had to pay to the Civic Center.

Allender believes they would not have needed to do that if the embezzlement never happened.

"Embezzlements are the worst but the most effective way for business owners to learn the importance of auditing and financial checks and balances," said Allender. "A single point bookkeeper can be a threat to your organization, so looking for a professional firm to do outside accounting or auditing may be a good option for many businesses here."

Allender says the city will likely not see any money returned to them because of this.

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