ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- A former Washington University official plead guilty to embezzlement Tuesday, after she reportedly defrauded the university of nearly $300,000.
Barbara “Basia” Skudrzyk, also known as Barbara “Basia” Najarro, 38, of St. Louis, pleaded guilty to three counts of mail fraud.
Skudrzyk was employed as the Business Director for the Division of Medical Education at Washington University.
According to the plea agreement, beginning in May 2010 and continuing through July 31, 2018, Skudrzyk defrauded Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri of in excess of approximately $300,000 through various means.
On many occasions, Skudrzyk hired contractors and other service providers to perform personal services for her benefit, and at her personal residence, according to federal prosecutors. She would then create, submit and approve false invoices and false W-9 tax forms for these contractors and other service providers to make it appear as if they had performed work for the Division of Medical Education when they had not.
Skudrzyk purchased VISA gift cards at the Washington University bookstore, forged another Washington University employee’s signature on the receipts and charged the purchases to the Division of Medical Education. Skudrzyk then used the VISA gift cards for her own personal use, including for purchases at restaurants, a jewelry store and a number of other retailers.
Additionally, Skudrzyk falsified and changed invoices from two different travel companies for airline flights for herself and her family to such places as Poland, Germany, Toronto, West Palm Beach, Fla., New York City, and Texas.
Skudrzyk’s sentencing is scheduled for March 8, 2019. The maximum penalty for mail fraud is 20 years in prison and $250,000 fine.