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Audit Shows Former U of L Employee Misappropriated Over $450,000

The University of Louisville has released its audit of a former employee accused of misappropriating over $450,000 and it has taken measures to strengthen oversight.Alisha Ward was fired as senior program coordinator for the Equine Industry Program earlier this year after using funds from the program to pay a contractor to work on her home. In February, the contractor called the university to warn that the school had paid him for work he hadn’t done, said University Spokesman Mark Hebert.A lack of oversight from her supervisor contributed to the accused fraud he said, and it was easy to trace the contract back to Ward.President James Ramsey has already taken precautions to prevent future fraud from occurring. “One thing we’re doing is President Ramsey has appointed a task force which is chaired by local business man Steve Trager and they will be reviewing the policies and the use of credit cards by the university, review supervisor accountability, recommend actions to ensure accountability and recommend any other actions they see fit to protect the university’s assets,” Hebert said.But Herbert said the best policies and procedures are always subject to human flaw.“You can have all the best policies and procedures in place and if the humans on the other side don’t carry out those policies and procedures and don’t do their jobs, you got a problem, and that’s what happened here,” he said.The case has been turned over to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Louisville.

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