As of Monday, August 27, 2012
© Copyright 2013
Gwinnett Daily Post
LAWRENCEVILLE -- The Gwinnett Superior Court Clerk's Office on Monday paid $378,000 in unclaimed criminal cash bonds to the county, following months of accounting work to correct two software crashes, officials said.
An issue with the payment process began with a crash of the clerk's accounting software in 2004 and another in 2008. A complex accounting investigation was not possible until 2010, because the clerk's office was hamstrung with a shortage of employees capable of investigating the matter, said Richard Alexander, Clerk of Court.
That changed with the hiring of an office business manager in 2010, who began a long-term project to identify criminal files holding funds from unclaimed criminal cash bonds. The project compared bank records with checks written as far back as 2000, Alexander said.
State law requires that the funds be held for seven years before they are eligible to be paid to county government. After that time, the bond surety is given 90 days to retrieve the funds. The bonds that aren't retrieved are channeled to county government.
Alexander said the clerk's office delivers the money to the county's finance department, which governs how it is spent. He expects the county will be paid an additional $205,000 in the next calendar year, bringing the unpaid criminal bonds eligible for payment to the county up to date.
Future payments to the county will be reconciled on a monthly basis, Alexander said.