Whistle-blower's claims has state looking into Seminole Co. company

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SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. —

A secret whistle-blower reportedly went to the state to expose his Seminole County employer.

In a letter, obtained only by WFTV, he accused his bosses at Inwood Consulting Engineers of funneling hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to themselves. The money was reportedly to be used to pay for road improvements on State Road 417.

The whistleblower is believed to still work for Inwood.

"If it is the fact that they are way overcharging then yeah they need to come back at them and get the money back from them," said Oviedo resident Mona Reece.

Executives at Inwood told WFTV's Tim Barber that the whistleblower is lying, and probably never worked for the company.

The letter's author pleaded for protection from state officials.

In the letter the writer said Inwood Consulting Engineers, Inc. has been using "...funny math and deceptive accounting" to overcharge clients.

Barber also found a letter from the Florida Department of Transportation's inspector general, who said the company's management took nearly $800,000 it was not supposed to, a couple years ago, for work on S.R. 417.

Inwoods's management told Barber over the phone that in that case the mistake was made by an outside accounting firm. The company said they are now using a new firm which works closely with state officials.

WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said the problem was the wording in the state's contract.

"Certainly this company is going to argue that they followed the correct interpretation of the contract, [that] there was not any criminal intent when they billed the county what they billed them," said Sheaffer.

The office of the inspector general is going to meet about the whistleblower's latest allegations Thursday.

Management at Inwood said they are confident that their math will check out.