Section 2 - General Policies

Policy Number: 2.24 - FRAUD

SCOPE: FACULTY, STAFF AND STUDENTS Issued: 6/1/06

1. Policy: Lamar University commits its employees to the highest standards of moral and ethical behavior. Fraudulent activity of any kind, including actions for the benefit of the University, is expressly forbidden. This policy establishes the procedures and responsibilities for reporting and resolving instances of known or suspected fraudulent acts.

2. Definition of Fraud:

An intentional perversion of truth for the purpose of inducing another in reliance upon it to part with some valuable thing belonging to him or to surrender a legal right. A false representation of a matter of fact, whether by words or by conduct, by false or misleading allegations, or by concealment of that which should have been disclosed, which deceives and is intended to deceive another so that he shall act upon it to his legal injury. Any kind of artifice employed by one person to deceive another.

3. Broadened definition:

For purposes of this policy, the definition has been broadened to include:

3.1 an intentional or deliberate act;

3.2 an act that deprives the University or a person of something of value or gaining an unfair benefit; and/or

3.3 the use of deception, false suggestions, suppression of truth, or other unfair means which are believed and relied upon.

4. Further definition:


A fraudulent act may be an illegal, unethical, improper, or dishonest act including, but not limited to:

4.1 embezzlement;

4.2 misappropriation, misapplication, destruction, removal, or concealment of property;

4.3 alteration or falsification of documents;

4.4 false claims by students, employees, vendors, or others associated with the University;

4.5 theft of any asset including, but not limited to, money, tangible property, trade secrets or

intellectual property;

4.6 inappropriate use of computers, including hacking and software piracy;

4.7 bribery, rebate, or kickback;

4.8 conflict of interest;

4.9 misrepresentation of facts.

5. Fraudulent act determination:

While a fraudulent act may have criminal and/or civil law consequences, the University is not required to use a determination by any external authority as the basis for deciding administratively whether an act is fraudulent.

Any member of the campus community who has a reasonable basis for believing a fraudulent act has occurred has a responsibility to promptly notify one of the following:


6.1 his or her supervisor;

6.2 the appropriate administrator;

6.3 www.ethicspoint.com

6.4 Director of the Office of Internal Audits and Compliance or the Chief of University Police.

Employees who, in good faith, report unlawful activity are protected by the Texas Whistleblower Act against any retaliation for making such a report. The reporting member of the campus community shall refrain from confrontation of the suspect, further examination of the incident, or further discussion of the incident with anyone other than the employee’s supervisor or others involved in the resulting review or investigation. Persons found to be making frivolous claims under this policy may be disciplined, up to and including termination of employment or expulsion from the University.

7. Investigation:

Upon a report of suspected fraudulent activity and with the concurrence of the Office of Internal Audits and Compliance, the supervisor or administrator may treat the incident as an administrative issue and have a qualified individual or individuals perform an objective review. The Office of Internal Audits and Compliance has the primary obligation for investigating reported incidents to the extent considered necessary for resolution. The Office of Internal Audits and Compliance may contact other university departments, including, but not limited to, the Office of General Counsel and the University Police Department, to establish the necessary team to proceed with the review or investigation. The investigative team will attempt to keep source information as confidential as possible. In those instances where the investigation indicates criminal activity, the investigation shall be turned over to the University Police Department or other appropriate law enforcement agency.

All affected departments and/or individuals shall cooperate fully with those performing a review or investigation, including the Office of Audits and Compliance, law enforcement officials, regulators, and any other parties involved. During all aspects of the review or investigation, the constitutional rights of all persons will be observed. Suspects and others involved in the review or investigation shall be treated fairly and consistently without regard to past performance, position held, length of service, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression age, disability, national origin, or veteran status.

8. Disciplinary Actions:

8.1 Employees found to have participated in fraudulent acts as defined by this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination, pursuant to University and Texas State University System personnel policies and rules. Additionally, employees suspected of perpetrating fraudulent acts may be placed on paid administrative leave during the course of the investigation. In those cases where disciplinary action is determined to be warranted, the Office of Human Resources, Office of General Counsel, or other appropriate office shall be consulted prior to taking such action. In addition, criminal or civil action may be taken against employees who participate in unlawful acts.

8.2 The employment of any individual involved in the perpetration of a fraud will ordinarily be terminated without eligibility for rehire. Actions to be taken will be determined without regard to past performance, position held, length of service, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, disability, national origin, or veteran status.

8.3 Students found to have participated in fraudulent acts as defined by this policy will be subject to disciplinary action pursuant to the Student Handbook and other published, pertinent University and System policies. In those cases where disciplinary action is warranted, the appropriate Academic Dean, Vice President for Student Affairs, Provost, Office of General Counsel, or other appropriate office shall be consulted prior to taking such actions. Additionally, criminal or civil action may be taken against students who participate in unlawful acts.

The relationship of other individuals or entities associated with the University who are found to have participated in fraudulent acts as defined by this policy will be subject to review, with possible consequences including termination of the relationship. In those cases where action is warranted, the Office of General Counsel or other appropriate office shall be consulted prior to taking such actions. Additionally, criminal or civil actions may be taken against individuals or entities associated with the University who participate in unlawful acts.

9. Fraud reporting:

The results of investigations conducted by the Office of Audits and Compliance shall be communicated, either orally or in writing, as determined by the Director of Audits and Compliance to the board and chancellor, and/or to other appropriate administrators.