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Kentucky Auditor: Failure to Address Issues Could Lead to Fraud

Mike Harmon

  In a new report, Kentucky’s Auditor of Public Accounts says a systemic issue in the Motor Vehicle Registration System could lead to additional fraud. The report from Auditor Mike Harmon shows a lack of controls in the Automated Vehicle Information System allows anyone with access to alter social security numbers.

Changing those identification numbers can allow people to avoid taxes. Prior audits in Edmonson and Madison counties discovered altered social security numbers and led to criminal charges. The Auditor’s office is referring similar issues discovered in this year’s audit in Jessamine County to the Office of the Attorney General.

Harmon said the problem with the Motor Vehicle Registration System has existed under multiple administrations. In a report from 2016, Harmon found the Warren County Clerk’s office had at least one employee who was repeatedly changing social security numbers.

The issue was first identified by Harmon's office in 2013, but has not been addressed by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Harmon is calling for Kentucky to conduct annual reviews of the registration system to eliminate what he calls a “gateway to future potential fraud.”

Becca Schimmel is a Becca Schimmel is a multimedia journalist with the Ohio Valley ReSource a collaborative of public radio stations in Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio. She's based out of the WKU Public Radio newsroom in Bowling Green.
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