North Carolina college bilked $270,000 from embezzlement scheme

Montreat College, located in Montreat, North Carolina, is dealing with the recent discovery that a former employee stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from the institution through an embezzlement scheme.

According to the Citizen-Times, Tracy Pace served as the director of payroll and benefits within the college’s human resources department, and an accounts payable audit revealed that she allegedly took approximately $270,000. Authorities state that after several discrepancies were discovered within Montreat’s financial records, an investigation was launched, and several pieces of evidence pointed to Pace stealing money from the institution.

The news source writes that it is believed that Pace wrote unauthorized checks to herself from the college’s accounts, and while not all details of the illegal scheme have been revealed, authorities estimate that the embezzlement could have started in 2010. Pace has been charged with the theft and is currently awaiting a February 21 court date.

“Based on the discrepancies in payroll records, which appear to possibly date back to 2010, and the statements made by Ms. Pace during an interview, the campus police department determined it would be moving forward with embezzlement charges,” said Scott Adams, director of campus police for Montreat College.

Accounts payable audits can help companies reveal many types of financial misappropriation, including embezzlement, duplicate payments and noncompliance.