Two Medical University of South Carolina College of Dental Medicine employees were arrested Monday and accused of stealing nearly $28,500 by altering payroll documents and buying expensive electronics for personal use, according to court affidavits.
Michael Latrace, 47, of Vestry Drive, is charged with one count of breach of trust and one count of forgery. He was released from Charleston County jail on $25,000 bail. Margaret Elaine O’Brien, 39, of Sycamore Avenue, is charged with two counts of breach of trust and one count of forgery. She was released from the same jail on the same bail amount.
Both were charged by the State Law Enforcement Division. It is unclear if the two are still employed there.
Latrace is listed in the affidavit as the College of Dental Medicine finance director and allegedly instructed O’Brien and another woman, who has not been charged, to submit false payroll documentation for more pay instead of giving them raises.
The 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, according to the affidavit.
O’Brien, whose job title is not listed, is also accused of purchasing numerous electronics using MUSC’s money between June 19, 2012 and April 21, including a surveillance camera, GoPro camera, Bose Quiet Comfort headphones, a Macbook Air and iPad. Latrace told police that he took the property, worth a combined $4,731.69, for his own use and consented to a search of his home, where the items were found, the affidavit states.
Reach Melissa Boughton at 843-937-5594 or at Twitter.com/mboughtonPC.
Correction: A previous version of this story inadvertently stated that MUSC did not return an email for comment.