By Emily Fitzgerald /

While initial reports indicated the City of Tenino lost roughly $270,000 to scammers in 2020, Washington State Patrol (WSP)’s fraud investigation and the Washington state Auditor’s report  have revealed the actual amount was $336,968 — of which only $56,659 has been credited back to the city, resulting in an overall loss of $280,309.

The money left the City of Tenino’s bank account in 20 payments to multiple out-of-state bank accounts between March 19 and May 4, 2020, on the authorization of former Clerk-Treasurer John Millard, according to WSP’s investigation.

The results of WSP’s investigation were detailed in State Auditor Pat McCarthy’s official report on the City of Tenino’s misappropriation of funds, which was published on Thursday.

Millard received an email on March 19, 2020, from what he reportedly thought was the Washington Municipal Clerks Association requesting a loan to pay for some expenses for their 50th anniversary celebration, according to previous The Chronicle reporting.

The Washington Municipal Clerks Association sent out an email to all of its members — including Millard — that same day notifying them of the scam email and warning them not to make any payments, according to McCarthy’s report.

“While other recipients either deleted or ignored the email, contacted the association to confirm it was a phishing attempt, or contacted their IT…

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