Office of Human Resources

Fraud

Policy # 1.2070
Effective 10/28/03

This policy applies to any fraud or suspected fraud involving employees, officers or trustees, as well as members, vendors, consultants, contractors, funding sources and/or any other parties with a business relationship with Lewis University. Any investigative activity required will be conducted without regard to the suspected wrongdoer’s length of service, position/title, or relationship with the University.

Management is responsible for the detection and prevention of fraud, misappropriations, and other irregularities. Fraud is defined as the intentional, false representation or concealment of a material fact for the purpose of inducing another to act upon it to his or her injury. Each member of the management team will be familiar with the types of improprieties that might occur within his or her area of responsibility, and be alert for any indication of irregularity.

Any fraud that is detected or suspected must be reported immediately to the President, Executive Vice President or, alternatively, to the Chair of the Lewis University Audit Committee, who coordinates all investigations.

Actions Constituting Fraud

The terms fraud, defalcation, misappropriation, and other fiscal irregularities refer to, but are not limited to:

  1. Any dishonest or fraudulent act.

  2. Forgery or alteration of any document or account belonging to Lewis University.

  3. Destruction, alteration, mutilation, concealment, covering up, falsification or making of a false entry in any record, document or tangible object with the intent to impede, obstruct or influence any investigation by the University or any state, federal or administrative agency.

  4. The destruction, alteration or concealment of any records used in the conduct of an audit.

  5. Forgery or alteration of a check, bank draft, or any other financial document.

  6. Misappropriation of funds, securities, supplies, equipment, or other assets of Lewis University.

  7. Impropriety in the handling or reporting of money or financial transactions.

  8. Disclosing confidential and proprietary information to outside or inappropriate parties.

  9. Accepting or seeking anything of material value from contractors, vendors, or persons providing goods or services to Lewis University. Exception: gifts less than a nominal amount of $75 or less in value.

  10. Destruction, removal or inappropriate use of records, furniture, fixtures, and equipment.

  11. Improperly influencing or attempting to improperly influence the conduct of any audit of University finances or accounts.

  12. Any similar or related irregularity.

Other Irregularities

The departmental management and the Human Resources Department should resolve any irregularities, concerning an employee’s moral, ethical, or behavioral conduct.

If there is a question as to whether an action constitutes fraud, University employees should contact the President, Executive Vice President or the Chair of the Audit Committee for guidance.

Investigation Responsibilities

The Administration, in consultation with the Audit Committee, has the primary responsibility for the investigation of all suspected fraudulent acts as defined in the policy. The investigation may utilize whatever internal and/or external resources considered necessary. If an investigation substantiates that fraudulent activities have occurred, the President, Executive Vice President or the Audit Committee Chair will issue reports to appropriate designated personnel and, if appropriate, to the Board of Trustees and/or the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees.

Decisions to prosecute or refer the examination results to the appropriate law enforcement and/or regulatory agencies for independent investigation will be made in conjunction with legal counsel. Decisions regarding demotion, suspension or termination will also be made in conjunction with legal counsel.

If suspected fraud or other wrongdoing involves programs funded in whole or in part with federal funds, additional responsibilities, such as special reporting and disclosure to the awarding agency, may apply. It is the policy of Lewis University to fully comply with all additional reporting disclosure and other requirements pertaining to suspected acts of fraud as described in award documents.

Document Retention

It is the intent of the University to comply with all relevant state and federal document retention requirements. All University employees are instructed that any audit work papers and other documents that form the basis of the audit or review of University finances, and memoranda, correspondence, communications, other documents, and records (including electronic records), which are: (i) created, sent or received in connection with the audit or review, and (ii) contain conclusions, opinions, analyses, or financial data related to the audit or review shall be retained for at least seven (7) years. Additionally, any complaints made to the University Audit Committee and all responses thereto shall be retained for at least five (5) years.

Confidentiality and Whistleblower Protections

The President, Executive Vice President and the Audit Committee will treat all information received confidentially. Any employee who suspects dishonest or fraudulent activity will notify the President, Executive Vice President or the Chair of the Audit committee immediately, and should not attempt to personally conduct investigations or interviews/interrogations related to any suspected fraudulent act (see Reporting Procedures section below). Investigation results will not be disclosed or discussed with anyone other than those who have a legitimate need to know. The Audit Committee has the authority to conduct executive (closed session) meetings at which matters reported to the committee may be discussed confidentially.

Employees or other persons who lawfully report suspected fraud or other activity to the University, the Audit Committee or any federal or state authority or agency shall not suffer discharge, demotion, suspension, threats or harassment or be discriminated against in any other way because of such employee’s lawful actions in providing information or assistance to an investigation into fraudulent or other activity.

Authority for Investigation of Suspected Fraud

Those individuals assigned to investigate suspected fraud will have:

  1. Free or unrestricted access to all Lewis University records and premises, whether owned or rented; and

  2. The authority to examine, copy, and/or remove all or any portion of the contents of files, desks, cabinets, and other storage facilities on the premises without prior knowledge or consent of any individual who may use of, have custody or any such items or facilities when it is within the scope of their investigations.

Reporting Procedures

Great care must be taken in the investigation of suspected improprieties or irregularities so as to avoid mistaken accusations or alerting suspected individuals that an investigation is under way.

An employee who discovers or suspects fraudulent activity will contact the President, Executive Vice President or the Chair of the Audit Committee immediately. The employee or other complainant may remain anonymous. All inquiries concerning the activity under investigation from the suspected individual(s), his or her attorney or representative(s), or any other inquirer should be directed to University legal counsel. No information concerning the status of an investigation will be given out.

The reporting individual should be informed of the following:

  1. Do not contact the suspected individual in an effort to determine facts or demand restitution.

  2. Do not discuss the case, facts, suspicions, or allegations with anyone unless specifically asked to do so by Lewis University legal counsel.

Helpful Resources

Commitment to Equal Employment Opportunity

Lewis University is an equal opportunity employer. Decisions regarding hiring, compensation, discipline, promotion, termination, or other terms and conditions of employment will be made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, age, marital status, national origin, veteran status, genetic information or disability which is unrelated to the ability to perform the job or which can be reasonably accommodated.