WSU Receives Payment for Misappropriated Funds

PULLMAN, Wash.–Restitution of $56,806 has been received by Washington State University from a former employee of the animal sciences department, according to Sallie Giffen, vice president for business affairs.
The payment covers $41,606 identified as misappropriated from local accounts during an investigation by state auditors earlier this year. It also reimburses the university for $15,199 in costs for the state audit investigation.
Giffen said the acceptance of the payment does not affect the university’s right to restitution for costs of an internal audit investigation and does not limit WSU regarding any other remedies available for its recovery of these internal audit costs or additional losses identified through subsequent activities.
Joyce Smith, who worked for the university for eight years, resigned when the circumstances were uncovered, and made restitution of $2,731 at that time.
The case has been referred by the state auditor’s office to the Whitman County Prosecuting Attorney, where criminal proceedings are under review.
The state auditor’s office found that funds were misappropriated and accounting records falsified and destroyed from July 1, 1991 through Feb. 28, 1997.
Giffen said discrepancies reported in student club accounts brought the matter to the university’s attention. Reimbursement of the student clubs and other accounts will be completed soon, she added.