Former SF State Employee Charged with Embezzlement
February 5, 2004 3:55 PM
SF State has its share of money problems, some of which may be homegrown.
In the past year, 22 people have been charged with stealing more than $500,000 in total from the university and associated organizations. One of these, a grants and contracts administrator in SF State’s Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, is due to go to trial early this year. He is charged with embezzling some $350,000.
According to prosecutors, Falefasa Tagaloa used his position in the Office of Research and Programs to make away with monies that are supposed to go to faculty members for research projects. Tagaloa convinced the university’s Accounts Payable Office to write checks ranging from $1,200 to $5,500 to his wife. Both Tagaloa and his wife have been indicted; both have pled not guilty.
The kinds of checks Tagaloa were having sent to his wife are stipend checks, which go through a les rigorous checking process than paychecks.
An internal audit in 2000 put in question more than $44,000 in honorarium payments Tagaloa put through to faculty in a year’s time, but no evidence was found that Tagaloa directed any of that money to himself.
Auditors looking at the honorarium process complained of messy bookkeeping
Auditors from the California State University isolated several sets of problems in the way SF State handles its money in audits they performed in 2001 and 2002, most of which centered around insufficient documentation on what monies went out and to whom.
The 2002 audit pointed out cases in which staffers got paid back for expenses without presenting receipts to show what they should have been paid back for.
The 2001 audit also highlighted the lack of security of SF State’s Oracle-powered accounts receivable database – the system is apparently too easy to access.
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