A newspaper report says a St. Louis County Health Department official used an alias and bogus invoices to collect $3.4 million from the county during a six-year scheme that ended with his suicide last month.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that emails obtained under the Sunshine Law show that county financial officers ignored red flags pointing to 39-year-old Edward Mueth.

Also, an independent audit delivered to the County Council on Thursday revealed that contract limits with Mueth had been exceeded. For example, $709,000 was paid to Mueth's company, Gateway Technical Solutions, in 2012, far exceeding the value of a three-year, $248,000 contract signed in 2011.

County Executive Charlie Dooley says he concurs with the audit's conclusions. He expects the county's losses to be covered by insurance.

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