SANTA CRUZ, Calif--
Attorneys say Belinda Exon ran a complicated, ponzi like scheme, making it almost impossible for people to realize money was missing.
"Were waiting to hear back from the US Attorney's Office to document what the funds were used for, and whether they were from the city of Santa Cruz," says Martin Bernall, City Manager for Santa Cruz.
Exon admitted taking $34,000 from the city. But, "We don't have any documentation of that occurring," says Bernall. "The activity occurred before any of our current staff worked on these programs."
So Central Coast News wanted to know how cities could stop this from happening again. Exon ran Rehab Financial Services; a third party company that administered grants and held money in escrow to fix health and safety hazards in low-income housing.
Bernall said the city stopped using third party agencies like that years ago.