- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 26, 2017

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - The University of Missouri in Columbia is investigating a possible case of employee embezzlement.

A statement from university officials Tuesday said the school’s police department was investigating “suspected misappropriation of funds from student organization accounts affiliated with Greek Life.” The money was held outside of normal university accounts, the Columbia Daily Tribune (https://bit.ly/2uYZSrQ ) reported.

Officials said a former employee was responsible for the alleged embezzlement.

“The university is cooperating fully with the MU Police Department as they begin their investigation to determine whether a crime occurred,” the statement read.

University spokeswoman Liz McCune said it’s currently unknown how much money is involved. She said no one has been arrested.

The school hasn’t released any information regarding the particular student accounts involved or whether the former employee responsible was laid off due to the potential theft.

“If police determine misappropriation of funds by a former staff member occurred, the university will encourage prosecution of these crimes to the fullest extent possible and will work with affected groups to address the situation appropriately,” the statement read.

Officials also said the university would start new protocols to require two approvals for spending money held on behalf of student groups. Employees with authority must sign checks on student organization accounts to have spending approved by their supervisor and the vice chancellor for student affairs.

The university has been hit before by large embezzlement scandals, such as false invoices and improper purchases in June 2016 as well as a theft of nearly $700,000 through false travel vouchers in 1994.

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Information from: Columbia Daily Tribune, https://www.columbiatribune.com

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