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The Student News Site of Drake University

The Times-Delphic

The Student News Site of Drake University

The Times-Delphic

    Guilty plea for embezzlement from former Drake director of student accounts

    Former Drake University director of student accounts, Robert Alex Harlan, 49, pleaded guilty on Sept. 26 to embezzling over $10,000 from the university. The embezzlement is thought to have spanned over a period of at least five years.

    Polk County prosecutors decided that the original charges against Harlan, five counts of first-degree theft, would be consolidated into one charge. Harlan pleaded guilty after the prosecutors’ decision.

    The Class C offense is punishable by up to 10 years in jail, a minimum fine of $1,000 or a maximum fine of $10,000, although the plea deal does not mean Harlan is guaranteed any of these as a final penalty. His sentencing will be on Nov. 8.

    Last spring, Drake officials contacted the police in March after they noticed discrepancies in university account records. Over $600,000 was reported missing. Authorities suspected the embezzlement happened over a span of seven years. Harlan was charged in the theft of more than $470,000. On April 21, Harlan turned himself in to authorities.

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    Harlan was employed at Drake for over 20 years and was the director of student accounts for the past 10 years.

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