Former IU Foundation employee steals $326,000 in donations; sentenced to one year in prison 

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – A former IU Foundation employee is heading to federal prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud charges. Teresa Maners will serve a one-year sentence for embezzling more than $326,000 in school donations. After her release, Maners will be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office and will be forced to return the stolen money as restitution.  

Maners, 64, worked as a depositor and payroll deduction associate for the IU Foundation, where she was in charge of recording donations and preparing deposits in the foundation’s bank account.  

Investigators found that Maners engaged in fraud that is often referred to as a “lapping scheme.”

During the operation, she would steal cash donations, withhold deposit checks, and write personal checks to the foundation to make up for the missing funds.  

“As the only employee in charge of recording cash donations, Maners was able to alter the accounting paperwork to ‘balance’ the books and keep the stolen cash for herself,” the US Attorney’s Office said in a statement.  

The operation lasted four years with approximately $326,334 in total donations being stolen.  

The IU Foundation conducted an external audit in 2019 when they discovered account irregularities. Maners confessed to stealing the money after she was confronted by the foundation. 

FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Herbert J. Stapleton said that organizations like IUF count on people in positions of trust to act in the interest of the organization and not for personal gain.  

“The FBI will continue to identify and investigate those who choose to commit fraud and enrich themselves at the expense of others.”