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Notre Dame University

Former Law School Administrator Found Guilty Of Embezzlement

A former University of Notre Dame Law School clinic administrator accused of taking up to $200,000 from the school’s Clinical Law Center will be serving a two years in prison, Law.com reports.

Jennifer Ihns, who pleaded guilty to nine counts of theft and one count each of forgery and corrupt business influence, received a seven-year sentence on May 25, but will only serve two years in prison with the remaining five years being spent on administrative probation.

“The criminal justice system has addressed this matter appropriately,” Dennis Brown, university spokesman, says after Ihns pleaded guilty. “Thankfully, there were no adverse consequences for our clients or the center itself.”

A Seven Year History of Theft

The South Bend Tribune reports that Ihns cashed 129 checks of more than $82,000 between January 2009 and June 2016 from the clinic’s operating accounting.

Ihns went years scanning check images from the bank to hide her thefts. At time, the South Bend Tribune reports, she allegedly wrote checks to herself that would not be submitted to the university of reimbursement. She would then alter check amounts to cover the money she took.

Ihns’ Role Gave Her Check Signing Authority

Ihns was originally hired in 2009 to be an office coordinator and paralegal for Notre Dame’s Clinical Law Center, according to Law.com. She was eventually promoted to clinic administrator, giving her the power to have signing authority over the clinic’s bank accounts.

The university launched an investigation in June 2016 and immediately fired Ihns after she admitted to investigators that she had stolen money.

While investigators identified $199,000 in missing funds, prosecutors say the full amount of stolen funds is unknown.

Sources: Law.com, South Bend Tribune