LOGAN — A 44-year-old Hyrum woman has pleaded guilty to stealing money from Utah State University, while being employed at the Student Health and Wellness Center.
Noell Hansen appeared in 1st District Court Monday to accept a plea deal. Under the agreement, she pleaded guilty to one charge of theft, a second-degree felony and a second charge of forgery, a third-degree felony. Under the plea, the remaining 10 forgery charges were dismissed.
Cache County Attorney James Swink said according to the charges, Hansen was taking money from the center to use for personal gain.
“She was involved in taking checks and then making the deposits,” said Swink. “She would short those deposits, retain some of those checks and the funds from them and my understanding is she used the money for her own personal use.
Swink said Utah State claims Hansen stole at least $38,273.18.
During Monday’s court appearance, the prosecution admitted that Hansen’s attorney is disputing the exact amount.
Utah State University public relations director Tim Vitale said accountants in the schools controller’s office first noticed anomalies in some cash reporting. At the same time, the health and wellness director Dr. Jim Davis requested an audit, after he and other employees were troubled by some of Hansen’s actions.
“Our internal audit services conducted an audit,” said Vitale. “They found that cash was missing.”
Vitale said Hansen worked in the center for over 20 years. She was placed on administrative leave after the audit was completed in June 2013. She resigned about two-weeks later.
Hansen will be sentenced August 11 and could face one-to-15 years in prison.
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