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Oregon Newspaper Stops Production After Embezzlement

You are currently viewing Oregon Newspaper Stops Production After Embezzlement
The newspaper's closing comes at a great loss to the community.
  • Post category:news

A staple newspaper in Oregon has officially had to stop production and lay off its entire staff after a former employee embezzled its funds. The embezzlement caused a massive disruption to the budget of the newspaper, which ultimately led to its demise. The newspaper affected by this is the Eugene Weekly, one that has been in print for over 40 years.

The area in which Eugene Weekly was distributed is one that has struggled to have a strong local news source.

The loss of this publication is one that will be felt by the entire community, both because of the loss of jobs and because of the loss of the key source of news. This is not the only area that is struggling with a lack of sufficient local news sources. Many smaller cities and communities have noticed a decline in proper news sources, which has led many to turn to things like social media, in which news often gets skewed or altered.

The shutdown of Eugene Weekly came very quickly. Just one week before Christmas, one editor, Camilla Mortensen, said the financial department began to notice discrepancies in bookkeeping information. They launched an internal investigation and came to the discovery that a former employee who worked with the finances of the newspaper embezzled money from the company after leaving the paper. Because of their access to the financials, they transferred around $90,000 to their personal bank account starting sometime in 2022.

Because of the embezzled funds, the investigation team of the paper then discovered that the paper had approximately $100,000 in unpaid bills. Some of these bills were even for the printing company the paper worked with. These bills went back only a few months, and the team is still working on discovering if this is the end of the unpaid bills.

Furthermore, employees became aware of portions of their paychecks not being deposited into their retirement funds like they were supposed to.

Upon these discoveries, the financial team came to the conclusion that they would not be able to afford to pay out the next payroll. After this, they had no choice but to lay off their entire staff of employees. The news of the layoffs came just three days before Christmas. The timing was absolutely devasting to the staff and wounded many holiday celebrations in the area.

The employee suspected of the embezzlement was employed by Eugene Weekly for about four years before they were fired. The local police department has opened an investigation and is working with forensic accountants hired by Eugene Weekly.

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