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Audit of Buncombe County struggling with corruption to cost $351K

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ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — The audit of a North Carolina county dealing with a public corruption scandal will cost $351,000, nearly three times more than originally quoted.

The Asheville Citizen Times reports Minnesota-based firm CliftonLarsonAllen was hired more than a year ago to audit Buncombe County government's 2017-18 financial statements.

Prosecutors say Georgia contractor Joe Wiseman bribed ex-Buncombe County officials Wanda Greene, Mandy Stone and Jon Creighton for years with items including spa treatments in exchange for contracts worth millions of dollars. They await sentencing on fraud and corruption charges.

The audit has found "material weaknesses" and "significant deficiencies" that could majorly impact the reviewed financial statements. Some of these issues include unapproved raising of the limits on county-issued credit cards, and unreviewed reimbursements through expense reports.

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