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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — An audit has determined that Travis County may owe the state more than $1 million because of suspicious vehicle title transfers that understated the amount of taxes owed to the state.

The Austin American-Statesman reports that the audit, released Tuesday, was the impetus for a fraud investigation that led to the recent arrest of seven people, including four who worked for the county tax assessor’s office.

Auditors reviewed transactions by a private company that contracted with the county to perform vehicle registration and title services.

One area of concern was so-called even-trade transactions in which two parties agree to exchange vehicles of equal value with no money changing hands.

The audit notes the transactions, normally rare, occurred at an “unusually high volume.”

This resulted in taxes being withheld from the state.


Information from: Austin American-Statesman,