DES MOINES, Iowa, (KWWL) — An administrative assistant allegedly embezzled $61,610.66 over 18 months from the Civil Commitment Unit for Sexual Offenders (CCUSO), where she and her husband worked, according to a report released Wednesday by state auditor Rob Sand.
The worker, Renae Rapp, reportedly made unauthorized payroll disbursements to her husband, who also previously worked at CCUSO.
The report concludes a special investigation of the CCUSO for the period of August 1, 2019, through February 28, 2021.
The CCUSO is under the Division of Mental Health and Disability Services within the Department of Human Services (DHS) and located on the campus of the Cherokee Mental Health Institute. CCUSO houses sexually violent predators from all ninety-nine counties in the state.
It was CCUSO and DHS officials who requested the special investigation after allegations of improprieties surfaced surrounding Ms. Rapp’s actions.
Sand reported the special investigation found $61,610.66 in such improper disbursements, which included $52, 618.19 in gross wages paid to Adam Rapp, Ms. Rapp’s husband, and $8,992.47 in related payroll costs. Mr. Rapp worked full-time for the CCUSO until June 2019, when he resigned and later took a temporary part-time position on August 23, 2019. In January 2021, a supervisor noticed a significant number of hours recorded on Mr. Rapp’s time records.
Sand reported that Ms. Rapp caused the excess pay and benefits by using her husband’s key fob and manually adjusting the payroll system to falsely document that he worked when he did not.
That improper pay was electronically deposited to a bank account Ms. Rapp shares with her husband.
Sand made several recommendations to CCUSO officials, which included implementing procedures to ensure verification of the accuracy of information recorded in the time keeping system. He also recommended that any adjustments to the system be properly monitored. Sand also recommended CCUSO officials implement procedures to ensure the facility is in compliance with requirements established by the Code of Iowa.
Although there have been no criminal charges filed against Rapp, a copy of Sand’s report was filed with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, the Cherokee County Attorney’s Office, and the Attorney General’s Office.
A copy of the report is available for review on the Auditor of State’s web site.
“The Auditor’s Office serves as the taxpayers’ watchdog,” Sand said in a statement to KWWL, “It is our responsibility to ensure public moneys are spent appropriately and for the intended purpose. When people steal taxpayers’ dollars, they need to be held accountable. We hope this investigation leads to improved payroll monitoring and controls at all Iowa agencies.”