Former MU employee misappropriated nearly $750,000
COLUMBIA - An MU internal investigation into suspected fraudulent activity by former employee Carla Rathmann, concluded Monday that Rathmann misappropriated nearly $750,000 in research funds over a 15-year period.
Rathmann worked at the MU Southwest Research Center in Mt. Vernon. She was terminated and entered a guilty plea in Greene County, and likely faces a federal prison sentence.
The fraudulent activity was first discovered when a newly hired supervisor became concerned about Rothmann's financial transactions.
“The University of Missouri has a fiduciary obligation to be responsible stewards of the resources under our control, and we take any unethical action – criminal or otherwise – with the utmost seriousness,” University of Missouri Interim Chancellor Hank Foley said in the internal investigation. “While we have terminated the individual responsible and filed an insurance claim, we will continue to work with authorities to ensure that the individual is held accountable."
The investigation found several factors contributed to the fraud, including limited staffing in a remote location, lack of an on-site superintendent for an extended period of time, weak internal controls and a failure to adhere to university policies. Rothmann's immediate supervisors have since retired from the university.
MU's insurance carrier is expected to reimburse approximately $650,000 of the misappropriated money.