A former ASU employee has been indicted on charges that he embezzled $124,000, making over 800 unauthorized purchases for his personal use.
Carlos Urrea has been indicted on counts of forgery, stealing, and deception.
The Auditor General’s Office in Arizona investigation against Urrea details he utilized the educational institution’s resources to acquire multiple personal belongings, such as large quantity gift cards, 10 smart watches, a $1,200 sectional sofa, clothing, a treadmill, a washer and dryer, a treadmill and a rower, two Christmas trees, and a dozen gaming consoles. To conceal the activity, Urrea allegedly submitted 347 forged receipts and another 358 false p-card business reports to make it appear the purchases were for valid university purchases.
Urrea, the IT serviceman for the administrators and president’s office at ASU, supposedly told investigators he was aware his expenditures were unwise but argued his motivation was to take care of his family. He was placed on leave in January 2022 after refusing to cooperate with the audit and fired two months later.
The audit report has revealed that during that 4.5-year time frame, Urrea had made 810 unauthorized personal purchases between 2017 and 2021 via his ASU purchasing card. To conceal his illegal activity, Urrea allegedly submitted 347 forged receipts and another 358 false p-card business reports to make it appear the purchases were for authorized university purchases.
The auditor general’s office blamed the ASU leadership for not spotting the rumored fraud beforehand, owing to their lack of enforcement of their own procedures. It was thought that Urrea had the capacity to go undetected as he was granted the freedom to make p-card purchases without any prior authorization, sidestepping the procurement process, and submitting receipts late.
The audit report states that ASU officials have informed the investigators that to enhance the p-card system, Executive Administration employees were instructed to utilize the procurement process for information technology purchases whenever practical.