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The Daily Tar Heel

2 UNC Employees Charged With Embezzlement

Daily accounting records led to the arrests of two employees at the obstetrics and gynecology department in two weeks.

Capt. Mark McIntyre, the investigating officer for University police, said Nelson was employed at the Ambulatory Care Center, where she worked in the obstetrics and gynecology department. McIntyre said Nelson's job as a cashier gave her access to hospital funds.

He said the allegedly embezzled money was in the form of co-payments, standard fees that patients pay when visiting physicians, and other patient expenses that Nelson was responsible for collecting.

Police reports state that she embezzled $6,624.43 during a period from Oct. 31 to Dec. 27.

McIntyre said Nelson's arrest was the second in an ongoing police investigation of embezzlement at the Ambulatory Care Center.

He said University police made the first arrest in the investigation when they charged former UNC employee Gladys Harris with one felony count of embezzlement two weeks ago.

Harris was taken into custody at 1 p.m. March 20 after a warrant was issued March 18 for her arrest, reports state.

Reports also state that while employed by the OB-GYN clinic in the Ambulatory Care Center, Harris allegedly embezzled $5,585.93 during a period from Aug. 21 to Jan. 30.

Lacy Farrell, manager of clinical business operations for UNC Physicians and Associates, reported the missing money to University police on March 15.

Farrell said he first became aware of the theft six weeks ago.

"We discovered the missing funds through routine processing of daily accounting records," he said.

Accounts are tightly controlled and monitored, Farrell said.

He said employees must fill out detailed deposit forms, which are closely examined for any discrepancies.

If mathematical inconsistencies appear, an investigation is then conducted, he said.

Although Farrell discovered the missing funds weeks ago, he said the employees were only recently arrested because officials needed to compile evidence. "It takes time to develop paper trails and coordinate with the Department of Public Safety," he said.

Harris' first court appearance was in Orange County District Court in Hillsborough on March 21.

She was released on a written promise to appear at trial April 25.

Nelson was released after her first court appearance Monday.

Her trial date also is set for April 25.

The missing funds total $12,210.36.

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