Texas Southern University students are demanding answers after two employees were accused of stealing more than $500,000.
Kennith Darden Jr. and Ashley Velasquez are each charged with felony aggregate theft after prosecutors say they worked together to squirrel away $534,379.71 stolen from the school in a little under two years, a Harris County District Attorney’s Office spokesman confirmed.
The pair was indicted on charges of misappropriation of funds.
The alleged theft is alleged to have occurred over several years. TSU confirms one of the employees resigned in April of last year.
A spokesperson for the university says the other worked previously for the campus building and grounds department. TSU has conducted its own internal audit.
Authorities say the scheme started in January 2012, when Darden allegedly began submitting fake invoices through a shell company and Velasquez, a senior administrative assistant, approved the fraudulent paperwork.
It was not immediately clear whether Darden was a full-time employee or a contractor at the time.
Both former workers have been indicted and instructed, through their lawyers, to surrender to authorities.
“The Texas Southern University police and the university internal audit department assisted with the initial investigation of former employees and are fully cooperating with the ongoing investigation,” the college said in a statement. “No further comments are available at this time.”