The former chief of finance for the Nebraska State Fair has been charged with theft following an investigation into the fair’s finances.
Court records show Patrick Kopke has been charged in Hall County with three counts of theft of more than $5,000.
Earlier this year, the Nebraska State Fair Board hired a forensic investigation firm to look into the fair’s finances after staff discovered suspicious activity during an internal review.
State auditors say their investigation found two checks totaling nearly $150,000 to RKBB Enterprises, Inc., a company Kopke created in May 2019, but could not find any invoices for the payment and were not able to connect them to any services provided for the fair.
Kopke resigned last November after telling board members that the fair was headed for bankruptcy, and eight fair employees lost their jobs in December as officials took steps to firm up finances after a 2019 loss.
Arraignment on the charges in Hall County Court is scheduled for September 9.