Former University Bookstore Manager Confesses to Stealing $1.16M

Wife Still Works for Institution

Yahoo Contributor Network

Initially, officials at Missouri State University in Springfield thought Mark Brixey took around $400,000 from the on-campus bookstore he managed. Upon conducting intense audits of the bookstore's finances, university administrators discovered Brixey stole around $1.16 million over eight years as an employee of Missouri's second-largest public institution of higher education. KSPR reports the former manager pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to wire fraud, money laundering and filing a false tax report.

* Brixey, 48, was investigated by local police, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Missouri, the Internal Revenue Service and the Secret Service. He is out on bond but faces 43 years in prison.

* Dawn Brixey still works as the assistant director of admissions in terms of office operations. The media outlet notes the wife's role in the crime, if any, has yet to be determined. The university is investigating.

* The theft was uncovered last summer when officials found $81,000 in cash in Brixey's locked desk at the bookstore, according to KYTV. The money stolen was from commissions paid by textbook companies for selling and buying back their educational products.

* University President Clif Smart called the incident the "saddest" since become the institution's leader in 2011. Safeguards are now in place to prevent such actions in the future, such as new policies when employees handle cash.

* Insurance covers up to $1 million of the missing funds. An additional $144,000 was recovered from law enforcement's investigation of the former manager. Brixey could be ordered by the court to repay the rest.

* The Springfield News-Leader reveals Follett Educational Services gave its commission checks directly to Brixey, who then cashed them at the bursar's office. Starting in 2011, the commission was paid in cash.

* Starting in 2003, Brixey stole $29,000. In 2005, the amount rose to more than $105,000. The most taken in one year was more than $194,500 in 2010.

* The News-Leader also reports the plea deal includes an agreement not to press federal charges against Dawn Brixey. Smart told the newspaper it would be unfair to fire the wife "unless we had evidence ... that she at least knew of the crime."

* Prosecutors allege Mark Brixey spent money to benefit his lifestyle, even though he didn't own an expensive home or expensive cars.

* Federal court documents made available to KOLR say Brixey made 55 money transfers totaling $121,000 from accounts at a local credit union into certificates of deposit between January 2008 to July 2012. Checks were given to Brixey in December and May from 2003 to 2012 until his resignation in August.

* Policies enacted since the theft include daily reviews of the bookstore's finances and formalizing all contracts with the university bookstore. Checks made out to the university can no longer be cashed at the bursar's office, according to The Standard.

William Browning, a lifelong Missouri resident, writes about local and state issues for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Born in St. Louis, Browning earned his bachelor's degree in English from the University of Missouri. He currently resides in Branson.

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