Bridgeport schools recoup some of lost $80K

BRIDGEPORT – Back in October, the Bridgeport Exempted Village School District’s account at Citizens Bank in the village had been mysteriously hacked into and the account was overdrawn.

School and bank officials determined that approximately $80,000 was missing.

Superintendent Ted Downing said during a new conference Wednesday morning in his office, that around 90 percent of the money had been recouped.

“We went into an agreement with our insurance carrier concerning the missing funds,” Downing explained. “We’ve got almost all of the money back.”

He said the funds that weren’t recovered included attorney’s fees and expenses spent on forensic testing of the computer system.

“The forensic testing showed that the money was taken when a virus occurred and it came from overseas,” Downing added. “It was on an attachment that showed like it was from the Internal Revenue System. It distributed to 18 different people in the western United States.”

According to Downing, the district could have followed up with charges against the individuals, but elected not to.

“It would have cost us more to pursue charges against those people involved, so we decided to settle with the insurance carrier,” Downing said. “We are pleased with the outcome and want to inform the public that no one locally was involved.”

In addition, the school district has changed banks, going from Citizens to Chase.

Downing also wanted residents of the district to know that several changes have been made, in addition to switching banks.

“We have one computer dedicated solely to finances,” he said. “We want to ensure the residents of the district that this type of thing will never happen again.

“There are several procedures of protocol now in place,” Downing continued. “It takes more than one person with different codes at different times to make a money transaction to happen.”

The school district’s insurance carrier is The School Plan.

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