LANCASTER — A former employee of Antelope Valley College was arrested Wednesday on numerous theft and fraud charges stemming from her employment at the college.
The college reported the embezzlement in 2010 after noticing discrepancies in their accounting, and a subsequent investigation revealed that Mandy Borquez, 33, stole approximately $500,000 during her tenure as an accounting assistant with the college.
Borquez was charged Wednesday with six felony counts of Grand Theft/Identity Theft. Charges were filed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office Major Fraud Division.
Borquez’s bail was set at $250,000 and her next court date is scheduled for December 14, 2011.
Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact Sergeant David Chambers at 661-877-7770.
Borquez’s arrest culminates a 10-month investigation by Commercial Crime Bureau investigators with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
(Information via press release from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.)
Updated 11/14/11 with statement from Antelope Valley College:
Antelope Valley College officials are cooperating with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the district attorney’s office in an investigation into the suspected embezzlement of money from student organization accounts at the college.
College officials are referring inquiries on the criminal investigation to authorities.
“We don’t want to say anything at this point that would jeopardize the investigation or interfere with confidentiality laws pertaining to a college employee,” said Dr. Jackie L. Fisher Sr., superintendent/president.
College officials confirmed that a suspect arrested by authorities, Mandy Borquez, is a former employee of the college who resigned Feb. 24, 2010. She had been employed as an accounting assistant in the Student Development Office since August 2004.
Officials were quick to point out that steps have been taken to provide greater oversight and tighten procedures on the handling of accounts through the college’s Associated Student Organization, a student governing body, and the Student Development Office.
“When faced with something of this nature, one of the first questions is how could this have happened,” said Steve Standerfer, director of public and governmental relations. “We want to assure the public that we have carefully scrutinized everything and have put new procedures into place to provide greater oversight and budgetary control.”
The Student Development Office handles money for a variety of student functions, including student club accounts, special events, athletic event ticket sales, snack bar sales and discount tickets to amusement parks.
A bonding agency has restored $233,906 of the money that was reportedly taken.