Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Iona College In New York Reports $800K Embezzlement Scheme

Iona College, in New Rochelle, New York, reported that it had fired two unnamed employees after an internal investigation revealed that they had allegedly embezzled some $800,000 from the institution over a ten year period. According to the college, one specific employee had misappropriated about $80,000 in extra compensation over at least 10 years with the help of the second employee. The scheme involved numerous fraudulent "small dollar transactions" including use of a college credit card and the issuance of college checks for their personal benefit. It also reportedly involved the fraudulent submission of phony invoices for payment.

Read the story here.

Update (10/27/10): The unnamed employee in question has been only officially identified as a "nun" who was fired after the revelations came to light. Nevertheless, it coincides with the abrupt departure of Sister Marie E. Thornton, 62, Iona's vice president of finance and it has been reported by media outlets that other Iona officials have confirmed the suspect to be Sister Thornton. Read an updated story here.

Update (12/10/10): Sister Thornton was formally indicted on charges she embezzled what is now believed to be $1.2 million from Iona College, although the college disputes that amount. Sister Thornton reportedly went on gambling junkets to Atlantic City. Read an updated story here and here.

Update (3/10/11): Sister Thornton, now 63, pleaded guilty today.

Update (11/10/11): Sister Thornton was sentenced to time served and three years of supervised release with 2,000 hours of community service. 

Comment: Ugh.  Not a very tough sentence.

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