BOISE -- Inappropriate transfers by Treasurer Ron Crane's office have cost taxpayers $10.2 million so far, but the hit to public money could rise to $27 million, according to an audit that concludes Idaho's money manager overrode internal controls meant to help contain financial risks.

Legislative auditors concluded in a report that Crane's office should strengthen its measures designed to keep Idaho from losing money.

Crane, whose management has drawn fire from auditors in the past including for using limousines in trips to New York, didn't immediately return a phone call Friday.

But in a written response, Crane says he disagrees with the finding.

The losses result from investments in mortgage-backed securities hit by the housing bubble's collapse.

Crane shifted these investments between accounts in 2009, exposing state taxpayers to the risk.

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