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Antelope Valley College loses $500K to embezzlement

November 10, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
A major money bust at Antelope Valley College: A former worker in the school's accounting office has been charged with embezzling $500,000. Much of that money was raised by student organizations.

Former Antelope Valley College employee Mandy Borquez is accused of embezzling $500,000 from the college.

Antelope Valley College officials say Borquez had been a trusted accounting assistant in the college's student development office since 2004. That is until last year when officials say they questioned Borquez about receipts that did not match up with accounts in her department.

"She had stole some money and she confessed but we did not know the extent of the embezzlement so we put her on administrative leave and then we conducted an investigation internally," said college president Jackie Fisher.

Officials with the college say the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Commercial Crimes Bureau joined the nearly yearlong investigation and revealed that Borquez had siphoned of $500,000 sometime over the six-year period she worked for the college.

Detectives say the suspect manipulated documents and attempted to use different aliases to shield her identity.

"She found bigger and better ways to hide the money, and she did this over the course of her tenure," said L.A. County Sheriff's Sgt. David Chambers.

Antelope Valley College officials say the money taken from the Student Development Office was generated from student fundraisers, ticket sales from athletic events, snack bar sales and more: money they say students use for club events and other college activities.

"This is the students' way of raising funds for their organization, and yes, in my 33rd year in the system, and I've never seen this happen before," said Fisher.

Antelope Valley College officials say over the last three years the college has lost about $10 million state funding. They say with constant budget cuts they cannot afford any scandal involving the loss of money.

Borquez is in jail, charged with embezzlement, identity theft and more. Her bail was set at more than $250,000.

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