What is Fraud?
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 (as defined by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants).
The Western Illinois University Fraud Policy has been established to facilitate the development of controls that will aid in the detection and prevention of fraud against the University. It is the intent of Western Illinois University to promote consistent organizational behavior by providing guidelines and assigning responsibility for the development of controls and conduct of investigations.
According to the WIU Fraud Policy, fraudulent acts include but are not limited to the following:
- Embezzlement (e.g. theft of cash, using WIU procurement card or accounts payable systems to purchase personal items).
- Collusion with others to circumvent internal controls.
- Forgery or alteration of documents (e.g. checks, time cards, receipts, contracts, purchase orders, expense reimbursement paperwork, student bills, electronic files, bids, or other financial documents).
- Fraudulent financial reporting.
- Misappropriation or misuse of University resources (e.g. cash, securities, inventory, facilities, equipment, services, supplies, or other assets).
- Impropriety in the handling or reporting of cash or financial transactions.
- Disclosing to other persons securities activities engaged in or contemplated by WIU (e.g. preliminary official statements in connection with bond issuances).
- Accepting or seeking anything of material value from contractors, vendors, or persons providing services/materials to WIU. Exception: Gifts less than $75 in value.
- Authorization or receipt of payment for goods not received or services not performed (e.g. payments to fictitious employees or vendors).
- Intentionally submitting multiple vouchers for the same expense reimbursement.
- Using WIU tax exempt status for purchase of personal items (via any method).
- Authorization or receipt of unearned wages or benefits.
- Unauthorized distribution or theft of student, staff, or faculty excess food points.
- Personal use of University property in commercial business activities.
- Identity theft.
- Conflict of interest, ethics violations.
- Destruction, removal, or inappropriate use of records, buildings, furniture, fixtures, and equipment.
- Any similar or related irregularity.
The Association of Government Accountants also has a toolkit with additional information on fraud.
Reporting Suspected Fraudulent Activities
According to the WIU Policy on Fraud, an employee who discovers or suspects fraudulent activity should contact the Internal Auditing Office immediately. If the suspect is a member of the Internal Auditing Office, the President and Ethics Officer/Legal Counsel will be notified. Independent auditors will investigate any allegations against Internal Auditing staff. The employee or other complainant may remain anonymous.