November 10, 2023

Former IU Foundation employee sentenced to federal prison for stealing $326,000

John McGraw Photog, Adobe Stock

John McGraw Photog, Adobe Stock

By KATY SZPAK, wfiu

A woman was sentenced to one year in federal prison for embezzling funds during her employment with the Indiana University Foundation. 

Teresa Maners began working with IU Foundation in 1988. She was in charge of recording donations received by the foundation, which is the fund-raising arm of the university. She was solely responsible for recording cash donations.  

Authorities say Maners stole cash donations for four years with a “lapping scheme.” In the practice, an employee alters accounts receivable in a way that hides the theft of funds.

The foundation discovered irregularities in the account following a 2019 audit. Maners admitted to stealing the money when foundation officials confronted her.  

U.S. Attorney Zachary Myers said “[Maners] abused her position of trust to line her own pockets and steal hundreds of thousands of dollars in charitable donations from a foundation dedicated to advancing important educational programs in our state. Our office and the FBI are dedicated to identifying criminals who steal from and defraud our charities, businesses, and government organizations and holding them accountable.” 

Following her sentence, Maners will be on probation for two years and pay back what she stole.  

In a statement requested by WFIU/WTIU News, IU Foundation said:

“The Indiana University Foundation would like to thank the U. S. Department of Justice for pursuing this matter.   

“Over several years, former Indiana University Foundation employee, Teresa Maners, stole cash that the Foundation received and processed from a handful of activities. The theft involved a complex scheme carefully designed and executed to avoid detection despite regular audits by our internal and external auditors.  

“No donor funds were stolen. All donor gifts to IU through the IU Foundation were credited to the appropriate accounts and all donor funds are available for use as donors of those gifts intended. Small amounts of cash revenue the IU Foundation receives and processes for operational expenses were stolen.  

“Following an analysis of how the fraud scheme was executed, the IU Foundation immediately implemented additional controls to protect against this and related criminal activity in the future.      

“We are confident that actions taken in response to this crime have strengthened our ability to prevent such incidents in the future.” 

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