Former employee faces fraud allegations

The director of leadership annual giving has resigned amidst allegations of fraud. However, formal charges were never filed. 

Adam Rider, former director of leadership annual giving, effectively resigned from WKU Oct. 16 according to documents obtained by the Herald. 

A memorandum dated Sept. 4, 2015 to Rider from Jennifer Miller, the director of the Office of Internal Audit, and copied to John Paul Blair, associate vice president of advancement, and Marc Archambault, vice president for development and alumni relations and WKU Foundation president, served as the official report regarding an anonymous report filed through the Ethics and Compliance Hotline on March 27, 2015.

The allegation identified Rider as engaging in fiscal misconduct. 

Rider came to WKU in 2010 as the assistant director of alumni relations and annual giving and was appointed as director of leadership annual giving in 2013, according to his WKU bio. 

The memo lists the general nature of the matter as a misuse of university funds and lists the estimate of monetary value from $1,000 to $4,999. 

“The case involved questionable procurement card transactions and possible misuse of university funds,” the memo reads. “Case details alleged that Mr. Rider may have been aligning donor visits with his obligations as a referee and possibly scheduling unnecessary trips as University business.” 

The Internal Audit office obtained Rider’s procurement card information, which included monthly statements, receipts and other supporting documents related to procurement card transactions. 

The Internal Audit office’s review noted instances in which transactions took place but no evidence supported a university business reason for the transactions. 

Upon the review of all documentation and evidence, Internal Audit presented the following findings in their report:

“Travel vouchers appear to have a forged signature in the placeholder for the Director’s approval signature. No report of leave time from 2013 to present day. Fuel purchases to locations that do not appear to be related to donor visits. Various procurement card transactions including hotel invoices and restaurant checks cannot be traced to any call reports in the Advance system application. Travel voucher claiming per diem for days that appear to not include any university business. Travel voucher claiming breakfast per diem when a continental breakfast was provided.” 

According to the memo, Internal Audit concluded that the reconciliation “between procurement card transactions, contact report entries into the Advance system application, work calendar and travel vouchers revealed gaps in process and procedures and revealed the lack of supporting documentation.” The memo states, “These gaps, along with evidence of forged travel vouchers, create a question of whether or not university business was conducted.” 

According to documents obtained by the Herald, Miller sent an email to Blair on Aug. 12 to set up a time to meet and discuss items that had been brought to her attention. The aforementioned items concerned the use of the University’s procurement card and use of travel voucher reimbursements by a specific person within Blair’s department. 

In an email sent from Blair to Miller, Blair thanked Miller for meeting with him on Friday, Aug. 14, and for making him aware of the investigation into Rider. 

On Sept. 17, Miller emailed Blair and Archambault a draft report which formalized action plans to be considered related to Rider. She said the majority of the report was similar to the Sept. 4 memo. 

In the email, Miller also wrote about Rider’s individual action plan in which he was to provide documentation to dispute these claims, and his documentation would later be reviewed by the Office of Internal Audit. 

“Mr. Rider’s individual action plan is to provide legitimate documentation for disputing these claims and that documentation will be reviewed by Internal Audit,” Miller said in the email. “His deadline, which he is aware of, is September 18, 2015. I am meeting with Adam tomorrow afternoon to discuss his evidence.” 

Blair responded to Miller on Sept. 18 and expressed his desire to meet with her and discuss her findings related to Rider and speak about the discussion Miller had with Rider that day. 

“Indeed I/we would like to continue to meet and discuss your findings related to Adam and process improvements within our department and suggest we do so when you are ready to summarize today’s discussion with Adam,” Blair said in the email.

The email correspondence between the two ends on Oct. 15, the day before Rider’s resignation, in an email from Blair to Miller which states “coming to an end soon.” 

The Herald reached out to Miller, but she declined to comment.

The Herald reached out to Blair, but he declined to comment.

The Herald reached out to Rider, but he did not respond before publication time.

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