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A scam artist targeted the Emery County treasurer last week and swindled the county out of $38,700 by posing as a county commissioner.

Treasurer Steve Barton received an email on June 13 from an account he thought belonged to County Commissioner Keith Brady, according to a news release from the Emery County Sheriff's Office. The email directed Barton to wire the money to a consultant in Florida, which he did, the release says.

The next day Barton sent the imposter a request for documentation that would support the transfer, the release says.

In reply to Barton's request, the person — posing as Brady — who was "busy with a meeting" asked whether Barton had wired money internationally recently, the release says.

Barton said he became suspicious when he had not received documentation of the transfer by June 15, the release says, and he contacted the Emery County IT department and county attorney about the possible scam.

Barton requested assistance from the agencies to help him obtain a reversal of the wire transfer, the release says. The IT department determined that the email did not originate with Brady and that the email was fraudulent.

The Emery County Sheriff's Office is investigating the incident, the release said, and a detective is working with the fraud division of the bank to freeze and recover the funds.

The Utah Auditor's Office plans to audit some of Emery County's accounts and take a look at Emery County's policies and procedures, the release says.

Twitter: @mnoblenews