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Tags: south carolina | fund | finance | grooms | mcmaster

South Carolina's $1.8B Mystery Fund Sparks Fiscal Fiasco

By    |   Wednesday, 27 March 2024 09:53 PM EDT

South Carolina found itself entangled in a financial mystery as officials scrambled to unravel the origins of $1.8 billion that accumulated in a bank account over the past decade, CBS News reported.

State Sen. Larry Grooms, R-Berkeley, who is leading a Senate panel on the matter, likened the situation to discovering a vault filled with riches but lacking any knowledge of its rightful owner.

The discovery has prompted an urgent investigation.

The account, now under scrutiny by both state and private accountants, marks the latest episode of fiscal mismanagement in South Carolina. The revelation comes on the heels of the resignation of the state's top accountant last year after a $3.5 billion paper error was unearthed, attributed to double-posting funds in higher education accounts.

Grooms said that the issue had been neglected for years, concealed from public view.

"This is one of the things that was swept under the rug for years," Grooms told the Daily Gazette.

Investigative accountants are working to untangle the financial web, uncovering a pattern where funds were shifted into the account whenever discrepancies arose in the state's financial records, according to Senate leaders.

Efforts to address the matter have transcended partisan lines, with calls for reform echoing throughout the political spectrum. Grooms spearheaded a proposal to amend the constitution, advocating for the appointment of the comptroller general to ensure greater accountability in financial oversight.

The quest for answers has led to a standoff between elected officials. Treasurer Curtis Loftis said that his office was not responsible for disclosing the existence of the account to the General Assembly.

Meanwhile, tensions have escalated as the Comptroller General's Office and the Treasurer's Office grapple over accountability and transparency.

Republican Gov. Henry McMaster sought to assuage concerns, affirming that no funds had been lost. However, revelations that nearly $200 million in interest had accrued further raised eyebrows.

As hearings loom, the historical backdrop of financial missteps in South Carolina looms large. Dating back to the state's inception, fiscal mismanagement has plagued its governance, with the Treasurer's Office and the Comptroller General's Office historically failing to effectively communicate, exacerbating the current predicament.

In the midst of this uncertainty, lawmakers are grappling with the ethical dilemma of accessing the substantial sum while grappling with unmet budgetary demands from state agencies.

"That's a lot of money, and there is no need to hurry up and try to spend it," McMaster said.

Jim Thomas

Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Politics
South Carolina found itself entangled in a financial mystery as officials scrambled to unravel the origins of $1.8 billion that accumulated in a bank account over the past decade, CBS News reported. State Sen. Larry Grooms, R-Berkeley, who is leading a Senate panel on the...
south carolina, fund, finance, grooms, mcmaster
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2024-53-27
Wednesday, 27 March 2024 09:53 PM
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