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Portland Public Schools nearly scammed out of $2.9M

PORTLAND (AP) – District officials say Portland Public Schools was bilked for $2.9 million when a fraudster posing as one of the district’s construction contractors hoodwinked employees into green-lighting the payment.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Deputy Superintendent for Business Operations Claire Hertz says the swindle was caught while the millions were still in the fraudster’s bank account, and the money should be returned to the district’s Wells Fargo account in the next few days.

A letter to district parents from Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero says two employees who approved the payment were put on paid administrative leave.

The fraudulent transfer was discovered Friday, and Hertz said the district’s money managers must now attend a mandatory training on fraud prevention scheduled for Tuesday.

She also said no one at the district will be allowed to authorize payments until after the training.

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