€240,000 in stamps ‘stolen’ from university

A civil servant at the University of Almería has been charged with fraud after auditors found he had spent €240,000 supposedly buying stamps over the last twelve years.

The public prosecutor alleges the man was handing in false invoices every fifteen days to justify taking money from petty cash. The invoices were not issued by the state postal service, Correos, but were never questioned by the University accountants.

Alarm bells were rung after auditors spotted a €31,000 expense on stamps in the accounts for his department during a cost cutting exercise. The auditors proceeded to investigate, and discovered “irregularities” dating to 2003.

The University has placed the matter in the hands of the police, and the man has now been arrested charged with fraud and misappropriation of funds.

In a separate measure, the University has filed an accounting irregularity with the Public Accounts Auditor to inform the authorities of the disappearance of public money.

The Public Prosecutor said it was not investigating anyone else in this matter, as it is understood the man was acting alone.

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