Former University official embezzled $300,000; arrested on six charges of mail fraud

Emma Baker | News Editor

The former business director of Washington University’s Division of Medical Education was arrested on six counts of mail fraud Monday.

Court documentation reports that Barbara Skudrzyk embezzled $300,000 from the University from May 2010 through July 2018. Skudrzyk used the embezzled funds for—among other things—home renovations, jewelry, international travel and a divorce attorney.

In Skudrzyk’s capacity as business director, she hired outside vendors and processed the invoices for those outside vendors.

According to court documents, Skudrzyk hired contractors and service providers for personal services. She then falsified and approved W-9 forms for the invoices that claimed the services were performed for the University’s Division of Medical Education.

Additionally, documents claim that Skudrzyk purchased and approved the receipts of Visa gift cards in $100 increments from the University’s bookstores. The indictments allege that at least one of the gift cards was used for business unrelated to the University. In some instances, the indictment claims that Skudrzyk used names of other employees on the receipts.

“The problem was flagged by our internal auditing system, we notified federal authorities and the employee was terminated in June,” Assistant Director of Medical Public Affairs Caroline Arbanas wrote in a statement to Student Life. “Subsequently, she is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s office.”

In a statement to Student Life, Nicholas Williams, Skudrzyk’s attorney, wrote that Skudrzyk intends to enter a not guilty plea.

“The story is at an early one-sided stage,” Williams wrote. “Prosecutors have not yet shared their evidence with her.”

This story is ongoing and will be updated as more information becomes available.