A special investigation by the State Auditor’s office reveals a former cashier at a cafe on the Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) campus in Ankeny was voiding sales at her cash register and took thousands of dollars for her own use.
Deputy state auditor, Tami Kusian, says the school asked for the investigation after doing a project at the cafe that required them to look at the sales information. “And when they obtained that information they started looking at it and saw that there were a lot of these voids and there wasn’t any reason that they would be having those,” Kusian explains.
The investigation totaled up the cost of all the voided items. “We identified almost $26,000 of improperly voided transactions at the Cafe DMACC,” Kusian says. “Most of those transactions, pretty much all of the voided transactions, were done on one cashier’s cash register.”
The cash register in question was run by Dawn VanFleet. “What it appears is that she voided several transactions at the end of the day, so it wasn’t as the transactions were occurring. At the end of the day she would go in and complete some voids and was then able to take the cash out of the cash register,” Kusian says. Kusian says they were then able to find evidence that Van Fleet took the money for her own use.
“One of the things that we’ll do is look to see if some of that cash is being deposited into the person’s personal bank accounts,” according to Kusian. “And we identified almost $19,000 in cash deposits in this one cashier’s bank account.” VanFleet was arrested and charged in July with multiple counts of second-degree theft and fraudulent practices. She pled guilty to one count of second-degree theft.
Kusian says her office advised DMACC to create more oversight of voided transactions and other controls and policies for handling cash. “DMACC has already made several changes in this area and corrected several of those loopholes,” Kusian says. Van Fleet is schedule to have a sentencing hearing on February 4th.