MUSC employees accused in payroll scheme terminated in April

Margaret O'Brien and Michael Latrace

Three employees who have been accused of taking part in a payroll scheme at the Medical University of South Carolina were terminated in April, according to the school.

Only two of the employees have been arrested and charged by the State Law Enforcement Division. Michael Latrace, 47, of Vestry Drive is charged with one count of breach of trust and one count of forgery. Margaret Elaine O’Brien, 39, of Sycamore Avenue is charged with two counts of breach of trust and one count of forgery.

Latrace, O’Brien and another woman were involved in the financial administration for the College of Dental Medicine, according to spokeswoman Heather Woolwine. She added that the school does not comment on the details regarding ongoing investigations and court proceedings.

“Appropriate state policies were followed with respect to the former College of Dental Medicine employees who have been implicated in the investigations,” she said.

SLED spokesman Thom Berry said the investigation was ongoing but would not say if the third person would be charged.

The payroll scheme went on from April 1, 2014, to April 21 of this year. O’Brien received $14,957 and the other woman received $8,685 as a result of Latrace instructing them to submit false documents instead of giving them raises, according to an arrest affidavit.

O’Brien also is accused of using MUSC funds to purchase numerous electronics, which Latrace told police he took for personal use, the affidavit states.

Reach Melissa Boughton at 843-937-5594 or at Twitter.com/mboughtonPC.