Employee suspected in embezzlement from schools group

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News

Troy — Police are investigating the suspected embezzlement of $100,000 by a top officer of the Michigan Association of Career Colleges and Schools.

The money is believed to have been stolen in a check scheme between September 2013 and June 29, according to a preliminary police report.

“We are still looking into the theft which was discovered during an audit,” Troy Police Sgt. Megan Lehman said Wednesday. “No one has been charged or is in custody at this time.”

Lehman said the money was discovered missing from an account after vendors complained they had not been paid. It is believed the suspected employee — the association’s secretary-treasurer whose duties included paying vendors — wrote checks out to “cash” and then endorsed them to herself.

An audit determined the looted fund should have contained around $100,000 but had only a balance of $1,000, police said.

The suspected employee, identified only as a 39-year-old Wixom resident, could not be reached for comment Wednesday and is reportedly aware of the probe, according to police. She was also employed with the Dorsey Schools, one of the association’s members, until about a weeks ago.

A Dorsey Schools spokesperson did not return a telephone call to The Detroit News and it was not known what may have led up to the woman’s exit — which occurred about the same time as the embezzlement was reported to police.

The Michigan Association of Career Colleges and Schools is a non-profit group which has an office on Crooks. It lists among its members private schools involved in the fields of accounting, administrative services, broadcasting, cosmetology and nail technology and electronics.

Association President Kurt Mayry confirmed the group’s secretary-treasurer has been suspended as a board officer pending the investigation’s outcome.

“I don’t feel comfortable talking about this further at this time,” said Mayry, who also declined to discuss the association other than refer to information available on its website.

The website describes the association, in existence for more than 40 years, as a “collective voice to promote awareness of the critical role member institutions play in preparing adults for careers.”

Embezzlement of between $50,000 to $100,000 is a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. Embezzlement of more than $100,000 can carry a 20-year prison penalty.

mmartindale@detroitnews.com

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