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88 East Broad Street

Columbus, Ohio 43215
(800) 282-0370
Report fraud: 866-Fraud-OH

October 11, 2021

State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio

William Neville, Executive Director
275 East Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43215

Dear Mr. Neville:

The Auditor of State’s Office has received numerous complaints evolving from a report issued by
Benchmark Financial Services, Inc. titled The High Cost of Secrecy: Preliminary Findings of Forensic
Investigation of State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio, Commissioned by Ohio Retired Teachers
Association. We have conducted a preliminary examination of these matters, the results of which were
forwarded to the Auditor of State’s Special Audit Task Force for consideration.

It is the policy of the Auditor of State’s Office that allegations of public corruption, requests for special audits
or requests for additional audit procedures are referred to the Auditor of State’s Special Audit Task Force.
The Special Audit Task Force reviews the complaint or request, reviews additional relevant information
gathered by our investigative or audit staff, and obtains input from our legal staff on the resolution of legal
issues. At the completion of our preliminary review, the Task Force members determine whether our office
will address the issues as part of the annual or biennial audit, determine that the issues are not within the
statutory authority of the State Auditor’s Office, or recommend to the Auditor of State that a special audit
be initiated.

The information obtained to date supports a reasonable basis for conducting a special audit. As such, the
Auditor of State is initiating a special audit of the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio (STRS). Fred
Kruse, Senior Advisor to the Deputy Auditor, Matt Klapheke, a Senior Forensic Audit Manager and Marissa
Gibson, Fraud Investigator from the Special Investigations Unit, and Zach Kromer, Senior Principal
Performance Analyst from the Ohio Performance Team will contact you in the near future to discuss the
planned scope of the special audit. The Ohio Revised Code permits the Auditor of State to charge for audit
services and as such there is a possibility we will charge STRS for the audit services. At which point that
is determined, we will provide you with a cost estimate for our special audit services.

We thank you in advance for your cooperation in completing the special audit. Should you have questions
regarding these matters, please feel free to contact me at (614) 728-7102.


Auditor of State

Tiffany L Ridenbaugh, CPA, CFE

Chief Forensic Auditor
Special Investigations Unit

cc: Debbie Liddil, Chief Auditor, State Region, Auditor of State

Jacqueline McKee, Assistant Chief, Auditor, State Region, Auditor of State
Lynn Hoover, Deputy Executive Director – Finance and Chief Financial Officer
Matthew Worley, Deputy Executive Director – Investments and Chief Investments Officer
Retirement Board
Ohio Retirement Study Council

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