Post University in Waterbury has dismissed five associates amid an investigation into allegations about the theft of almost $47,000.
Police started investigating on Feb. 6 after a staff member discovered the thefts and reported it, according to a police report. Police said several university employees were cashing Post checks for money they were not owed.
In an emailed statement, officials from Post University said they discovered “irregular associate activity” in February, immediately started investigating and reported the issue to the Waterbury Police Department.
“We are grateful for the work of Post Associates in discovering this theft of non-student, Post University funds, and we refer all future questions to the Waterbury Police Department,” the university said in a statement.
Waterbury Police Deputy Chief Fernando Spagnolo said that one of the suspects, identified as 34-year-old Stephanie Donovan, had access to university accounts and cut checks to other Post associates for tuition reimbursements.
Donovan and four others, identified as 38-year-old Carmen Gonzalez, 44-year-old Daniel Stack, 36-year-old Shavonne McLendon and 36-year-old Suzanne Kelly, were all arrested.
According to the arrest warrant, the suspects tried to pass off the money as tuition reimbursement, but none of them were due reimbursement and some of them were not even students at Post.
“It was a bogus claim for tuition reimbursement,” Spagnolo said. “These folks would take the checks most of them around the $3,000-mark, most of them were cut amounted to $47,000 over the course of this entire scheme.
Spagnolo said the police department has a good working relationship with Post University and that when the discrepancies were first noticed school officials gave all the information they had to police for the investigation.
“Post University is a great business here in Waterbury and they are community-based - they're strong supporters of our community and for any business to lose $47,000 it has an impact and an impact on what they're able to do for the community down the road,” Spagnolo said.
Each of the accused was charged with first-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit larceny.