77ºF

Former Miami-Dade County employee charged in $200K fraud

Ram A. Schratter was a security alarm systems supervisor

MIAMI-DADE, Fla. – A Miami-Dade County employee was purchasing security alarm system equipment intended for use in government facilities and diverting the equipment to his private security alarm business, prosecutors said Thursday.

Ram A. Schratter was accused of stealing at least $200,000 worth of equipment in about two years. And now because of his fraudulent scheme, he will have to say good bye to his pension with Miami-Dade County and his Moon Security Systems, Inc. revenue, prosecutors said.

For two decades, Schratter, 57, worked for Miami-Dade County overseeing the maintenance of security alarm systems for Miami-Dade County public school buildings. He incorporated his security business in 2004 out of 12824 SW 107th Ct.

The certified alarm system contractor found a flaw in the county finance department's payment process, which has two internal systems that are not reconciled. And he took advantage when he "purchased larger quantities of alarm equipment and supplies," State Attorney's Office spokesman Ed Griffith said in a statement.

Griffith said that the vendor invoices that Schatter provided as back up did not contain serial numbers to assist in a reconciliation of what was purchased and what was actually used.

"He was able to skim the materials by falsifying service ticket numbers on invoices, passing off purchases as stock, or simply not detailing the specific jobs corresponding to purchases," Griffith said.

The Miami-Dade County Inspector General's office began its seven month investigation, after a county employee reported the scam. Schratter resigned in March.

Schratter was charged with one count of first Degree organized scheme to defraud. He was sentenced to six months in jail, six months of house arrest and two years of probation. He is also required to pay $200,000 in restitution.  He will also have to serve 75 hours of community service and will not be unable to work for the government until he completes probation.