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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    IFC makes changes to prevent future theft

    The UA Interfraternity Council has re-collected a majority of funds that its former president was accused of stealing and is making changes to ensure that such theft will not be repeated, said IFC officials.

    The IFC has collected on roughly two-thirds of the $18,000 in missing funds, that political science senior Robert Medler was accused of stealing.

    A restitution of the remaining one-third is anticipated, Niedergang said.

    “”We have added some additional checks and balances to our procedures for spending money, and I cannot disclose further information because IFC is a private organization,”” said IFC treasurer Scott Niedergang.

    We have added some additional checks and balances to our procedures for spending money

    – Scott Niedergang,
    IFC treasurer

    Police found that Medler had used an IFC issued credit card to purchase thousands of dollars worth of items for his own possession, according to court records.

    Between March 10 and June 15, Medler used the credit card to purchase items including camping equipment, mountaineering gear and a $1,500 laptop, according to court records.

    Niedergang, a finance senior, found more than $18,000 in unauthorized withdrawals and purchases from the IFC’s Wells Fargo bank account statement June 20, according to court records.

    Medler was arrested and booked on July 7 on one count of theft by misrepresentation.

    David Berkman, Pima County chief criminal deputy, said that Medler has been accused of count 1 theft by control and conversion of class 3 felony. Berkman declined to give the date of Medler’s court appearance or any other details regarding the case.

    Some other student organizations on campus that have large budgets acknowledged that the misuse of funds is a realistic problem and have established measures to prevent it.

    The Associated Students of the University of Arizona maintains a stringent system of checks and balances and works directly with the university to prevent the unauthorized use of funds, ASUA officials said.

    In addition to internal audits that the executives, treasurer and business manager conduct monthly, ASUA has an intricate system of checks and balances that assure that every dime of student money is being used properly, said Carrie Pixler, ASUA treasurer.

    “”The university also subjects us to audits of individual purchases, which requires that we provide documentation and justification for all requests,”” Pixler said.

    The ASUA treasurer and a business manager, who is a full-time UA employee, oversee day-to-day fiscal operations, Pixler said.

    All checks that are issued within ASUA for funding requests of any kind must receive at least three signatures by the respective director, executive and treasurer, Pixler said.

    “”As ASUA is a department of the university, we are held to a fairly high standard for fiscal responsibility, and the university reviews our expenditures every time we submit a check request,”” Pixler said.

    Pixler said while the IFC situation is “”clearly alarming, ASUA officials are confident student money is safe due to the check-and-balance system.

    A similar incident happened last semester when Maceo Brown, former Arizona Students’ Association Executive Director, was accused of stealing more than $200,000 from the nonprofit student advocacy organization. ASA has filed a civil lawsuit against Brown for the misuse of funds.

    Student Body President Erin Hertzog said she was extremely disappointed to see such severe abuse of student money.

    “”It is not often that these situations occur, but when they do, they are tragic and unfair to the students who put their trust in their leaders,”” said Hertzog. “”Luckily, IFC is a strong organization that will be able to quickly recover from this situation.””

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