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City of San Antonio Missing $349,000 After Fraudulent Wire Transfer

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The City of San Antonio is missing $349,000. And officials are blaming a fraudulent wire transfer committed with a stolen identity.

The City is still trying to gather all of the details but in a nut shell Jeff Coyle, the director of the city’s intergovernmental relations says this:

“This is a case of identity theft, of somebody pretending to be someone else in order to steal from the city.”

According to the police report, a city employee in accounts payable was sent an e-mail onMarch 9 requesting a change in direct deposit. The sender was impersonating a vendor the city has done business with since 2013. The vendor and employee were not named in the report.

The e-mail requested $349,000 be direct deposited to a Wells Fargo account instead of Frost Bank and the transaction was completed.   Coyle says attempts like this are common.

“Most of the time we catch those, in fact, all of the time. Until this one, we’ve caught any major theft efforts like this. It’s unfortunate that it happened.”

Coyle adds the city believes it will recover the money through the investigation but if it doesn’t, the city has fraud insurance to cover the loss. SAPD’s White Collar crimes unit and the U.S. Secret Service are investigating. 

Coyle says the city will wait until the investigation is completed to determine if any changes need to be made in how the city handles wire transfers.