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Iowa State employee accused of using school money for personal purposes

Officials said Richmann admitted to making unauthorized transactions, including attempting to...
Officials said Richmann admitted to making unauthorized transactions, including attempting to withdraw money to pay her attorney fees and other debts.(KCRG)
Published: Jul. 8, 2021 at 9:01 AM CDT
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AMES, Iowa (KCRG) - An Iowa State University employee was arrested after authorities said she was accused of, and admitted to, making unauthorized transactions using the school’s credit cards.

Officials said 25-year-old Miranda Richmann attempted transactions using a school procurement card with Xoom, PayPal, Wells Fargo Bank, Western Union Bank, Target, Serve Credit Union, Venmo, Sam’s Club and Walmart.

In total, officials said the unauthorized transactions added up to more than $115,000.

The university’s procurement cards, or p-cards, were intended for employees to use for supplies and services for work purposes only.

The university said employees who are issued a p-card are required to complete mandatory training on proper use of the card, and must submit documentation and receipts within 30 days of any purchase made using the cards. Transactions are also reviewed by procurement specialists.

Richmann reportedly signed an agreement not to use the cards for personal purposes in March. The alleged attempted transactions occurred in June.

Officials said Richmann admitted to making unauthorized transactions, including attempting to withdraw money to pay her attorney fees and other debts.

Criminal complaints say Richmann also attempted to use the cards at multiple gas stations on different occasions. Officials said surveillance video from the attempts show her using the cards at the pump.

Iowa State University’s website listed Richmann as a secretary in the Human Development and Family Studies department at the time of the alleged transactions.

The university credits its policies established to prevent fraudulent use of the p-cards and its specialists for identifying the questionable transactions.

“Many of the attempted fraudulent purchases - a total of nearly $128,000 – were denied as unauthorized by various vendors. The employee fraudulently obtained approximately $3,900 worth of goods and services for their own benefit. The employee is no longer with the university,” the university said in a statement.

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