The University of Colorado Learns a Lesson In Internal Control

Saturday, October 03, 2009 , , , , 0 Comments

Damn, if you're going to steal from your employer anyway
couldn't you have illegally charged some highlights and a trim? Yeesh.

Perhaps the University of Colorado needs a quick internal control refresher?

The computer science department at the University of Colorado, where a former employee is accused of embezzling more than $70,000 over an eight-year period, has put into place tougher reporting policies designed to prevent such an incident from happening again.

Carol Rowe, director of communications for CU's College of Engineering, said the arrest of Vicki Kunz earlier this year on suspicion of 39 counts of felony theft, embezzlement and forgery prompted the department to require that a more thorough review of spending be done before approval is given for individual purchases made with university money.

Kunz, 55, is accused of making hundreds of unauthorized purchases on a CU credit card -- worth a total of $71,569 -- at retail outlets such as King Soopers, Target, Lowe's and Office Depot between 2000 and 2008.

An internal auditor with the university told police that she used CU's money to buy electronics, groceries and other items for personal use.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Kunz also used Director of Graduate Studies Shivakant Mishra's signature stamp to forge his signature on six official function forms authorizing the purchase of supplies and food for new student orientations or training sessions for teaching assistants.

She resigned from her post as graduate adviser with the computer science department in 2008 after the auditor contacted her about the allegations, according to the affidavit.

Kunz, who is free on bond, is scheduled to enter a plea in the case next month. She said she didn't have time to comment on the case Thursday.

She also faces charges of tax evasion in a separate but related case, in which prosecutors say she used CU's tax-exempt status to make the illicit personal purchases tax-free.

Brian Jordan, a detective for the CU Police Department who investigated Kunz, said he considers the case to be fairly egregious given the number of years it went on undetected.

He said it isn't the biggest embezzlement case he has investigated at CU but that it was "pretty severe."

The three standards of auditing field work are... oh fuck it, it only took years for someone to figure out something wasn't right.

Perhaps when the cash-strapped University cut jobs in May to save money it should have looked harder for candidates to can. Just sayin.

Jr Deputy Accountant

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.