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Employee Allegedly Steals More than $80,000 from Harvard

By Mariel A. Klein, Crimson Staff Writer

A former Harvard computer lab manager has been charged with using a University credit card to pay more than $80,000 of personal purchases, including Lego sets, iPads, and televisions.

A Harvard employee for 17 years, Shawn Bunn, 44, allegedly used Harvard’s money to make hundreds of personal purchases, which he covered up by submitting false receipts to the University, according to the office of Middlesex County District Attorney Marian T. Ryan. Bunn, who was given a University credit card to make purchases for a computer lab, apparently stole money from Harvard over the course of four years.

“This is a breach of trust by a school employee,” Ryan said. “Over a period of four years the defendant is alleged to have made personal purchases in excess of $80,000 therefore diverting resources from the students and faculty of Harvard University.”

Harvard Risk Management and Audit Services department discovered the fraudulent purchases during a recent University-wide audit earlier this year, according to Harvard spokesperson Tania deLuzuriaga. Harvard requires employees to turn in receipts for purchases of more than $75 and explain the nature of the purchase, according to the Middlesex District office.

“While the vast majority of users were in compliance, the breadth of fraudulent purchases in this instance led RMAS to reach out to the Harvard Police Department to commence a criminal investigation,” deLuzuriaga wrote in an emailed statement.

Harvard University Police acquired a search warrant on Bunn’s home and office, where they apparently found many of the items Bunn billed to Harvard but allegedly stole for personal use, including a table saw, Lego sets, and a garbage disposal.

HUPD spokesperson Steven G. Catalano directed inquiries to Harvard Public Affairs and Communications.

Bunn was released without bail in a court hearing on Wednesday and will be required to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet and follow a curfew. He will appear before a judge again on Oct. 28.

—Staff writer Mariel A. Klein can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @mariel_klein.

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