UW-Madison Division of University Housing: Discovers theft by employee

CONTACT: Jeff Novak, via Brendon Dybdahl, University Housing, brendon.dybdahl@housing.wisc.edu(608) 265-2685; Greg Bump, University Communications, greg.bump@wisc.edu(608) 890-2166

MADISON — A former employee of UW-Madison’s Division of University Housing is accused of defrauding the division of more than $100,000 in property and cash over the course of two and a half years, an internal investigation has shown.

“When we became aware of the former employee’s suspected criminal activity in early 2017, we immediately reported it to the UW Police Department and campus officials and took action to prevent it from continuing,” says Jeff Novak, UW-Madison’s director of University Housing.

“The behavior in this case is deeply concerning to us and is not representative of the Housing Division and its employees. Any abuse of the resources entrusted to us by our residents, guests and the university cannot be tolerated,” Novak says. “It’s unfortunate that the actions of one individual will reflect poorly on the rest of our employees, who are conscientious, hardworking and care deeply about this university.”

UW-Madison Police Department investigators have recommended multiple felony charges against the individual to the Dane County District Attorney’s office. The university will not release the name of the employee until a charging decision is made.

In the months following the discovery of wrongdoing, University Housing and the Division of Business Services hired an outside auditor to proactively review all related business practices and help establish new financial controls in hope of preventing these kinds of abuses in the future.

Business Services initiated several changes to campus procedures and control practices for purchasing cards and receipt policies. Additional control improvements are being considered.

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