Changes needed after money found missing from UNI concessions - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Changes needed after money found missing from UNI concession stands

James Kehl James Kehl

An audit requested by the University of Northern Iowa found changes to internal controls are needed in the concessions operations after it was discovered money was taken from concession stands by a former employee.

The audit, which looked at records from UNI's Events Complex Concessions from October 1, 2006 through March 31, 2012, was requested after the Concessions Director found that $300 had been removed from the safe following a women's basketball game on February 24, 2012.

The ECC is responsible for operating concession stands at the UNI Dome, McLeod Center and the West Gym.

According to the report, James Kehl, the former Assistant Concessions Director, was caught on video removing cash from the safe and putting it in his wallet following the February 24, 2012 game. The director confirmed $300 was missing.

Police arrested Kehl February 29, 2012. State Auditor David Vaudt reports three bundles of $20 bills were found in his wallet at that time. Vaudt reports the bundles totaled $300 and were paper clipped together in the same way they are before being put in the safe in the concessions office. Vaudt does point out that there is no way to know for sure that the $300 found in Kehl's wallet was the same $300 missing from the safe.

Kehl was fired on March 1, 2012. He pleaded guilty to fourth degree theft on June 14, 2012. He was given a deferred judgement and was ordered to pay $200 in restitution and $340 in fines and other court costs.

Vaudt also reported not all records used to track sales in the concession stands were retained and some of the records included changes to the amounts sold, ending inventory and amount spoiled. As a result, it was not possible to determine if additional collections were diverted.

The report also states Kehl made $17,430.97 in cash deposits to his personal bank account between April 18, 2007 and February 13, 2012. Most happened within five days of a UNI event and in even dollar amounts. However, Vaudt says because of the nature of cash sales and cash deposits, they can't determine how much of those deposits were money from the concession stands. Vaudt does point out in the report that no cash deposits were made to his personal account between February 13, 2012 and July 1, 2012.

In his report, Vaudt recommends that UNI and the ECC strengthen internal controls and overall operations. This includes using a point of sale system, making sure inventory counts are verified by volunteers and concessions staff and locking cash in bank bags when it's collected from the concession stands.

You can view the full report by going here.

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