Guidelines for Submitting a Successful Inspector General Hotline Tip

Submit Online Anonymous Tips

Hotline Tips Number (239)-337-7799

In support of the Inspector General, the Lee County Clerk of Court provides a Hotline telephone number that allows callers to leave recorded messages for the Inspector General.  The hotline telephone is in addition to the online Anonymous Tips feature.  Both features allow anyone to anonymously send concerns or issues regarding Fraud, Waste & Abuse, Financial Mismanagement, Ethical Misconduct, Guardianship Fraud, or Tourist Development Tax Fraud directly to the Clerk’s Inspector General Department.

Non-Anonymous Tips

If you would like to speak directly or meet with an Auditor or Investigator:

Please Call (239)533-5480 or

Email to schedule an appointment.

Fraud, Waste, Abuse, Financial Mismanagement and Ethical Misconduct Defined

Fraud is defined by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners in their Fraud Manual as:

“Any intentional or deliberate act to deprive another of property or money by guile, deception, or other unfair means.”

Fraud refers to, but is not limited to, any dishonest or fraudulent act to include forgery or alteration of any record and document; misappropriation of funds, assets, supplies, etc.; improper handling or reporting of money or financial transactions; profiting oneself or others, as a result of inside knowledge; party in interest violations, alteration, destruction or intentional disappearance of records, furniture, fixtures, materials, assets or equipment; accepting or soliciting anything of material value from vendors or persons seeking to or already providing services or materials to the County; and/or any similar or related irregularity.

Examples include, but are not limited to:  

  • Personal use of government-owned vehicles, supplies or equipment 
  • Violations of procurement policy
  • Submitting false vouchers for reimbursements
  • Soliciting or accepting a bribe or a kickback
  • Intentionally misrepresenting the costs of goods or services provided
  • Falsification of official documents (timesheets, leave reports, travel vouchers, financial records, etc.)
  • Conducting personal business on Clerk & Comptroller time
  • Theft or misappropriation of funds, supplies, property, or other resources
  • Forgery or alteration of financial documents or computer files
  • Pursuit of a financial benefit or advantage in violation of conflict of interest policies
  • Profiting by self or others as a result of inside knowledge

Waste refers to the unintentional, thoughtless or careless expenditure, consumption, mismanagement, use or squandering of government resources to the detriment or potential detriment of the Clerk & Comptroller or Lee County. Waste also includes unnecessary incurring of costs as a result of inefficient practices, systems or controls. Examples include, but are not limited to:  

  • Purchase of unneeded supplies or equipment 
  • Purchase of goods at inflated prices 
  • Failure to reuse or recycle major resources or reduce waste generation  

Abuse refers to violations and circumventions of departmental or agency regulations which impair the effective and efficient execution of operations. Abuse refers to intentional, wrongful, or improper use or destruction of government resources, or seriously improper practice that does not involve prosecutable fraud. Abuse can include the excessive or improper use of an employee or official's position in a manner other than its rightful or legal use. Abuse can occur in financial or non-financial settings.

Financial Mismanagement is management that, deliberately or not, is handled in a way that can be characterized as "wrong, bad, careless, inefficient or incompetent."

Ethical Misconduct refers to instances when public officials and government employees conduct their duties in a manner which is not impartial; use their public office for personal gain; or when their private interests are in conflict with their public duties. Detailed information regarding the State's code of ethics for public officers and employees can be found in Florida Statute Chapter 112.

Florida Commission on Ethics


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