CHEROKEE, Iowa (KCAU) — A former state employee of Cherokee Civil Commitment Unit for Sex Offenders (CCUSO) has been sentenced in a case of payroll theft.

Renae Rapp will serve two years of probation and be required to pay the state over $57,000 in restitution for second-degree theft after altering her husband’s time card.

Back in June 2021, Iowa Auditor Rob Sand’s office released a report detailing the theft of $61,610.66 in wages and payroll-related expenses when Rapp, an administrative assistant at the CCUSO, used her husband’s key fob to make manual adjustments to the payroll system to show he worked when he did not. Of the total disbursements, $52,618.19 of gross wages paid to Rapp’s
husband and $8,992.47 of related payroll costs

The thefts occurred from August 2019 through February 2021, when Rapp’s husband was a part-time employee of the CCUSO, which houses violent sex offenders. The excess pay of $52,618.19 was deposited into Rapp and her husband’s joint bank account with the remaining $8,992.47 going to payroll costs. According to Sand, Rapp’s husband had no knowledge of what had taken place.

Rapp pleaded guilty to the charges in September and was sentenced on Monday to probation and to pay $57,252 in restitution.

“If you steal taxpayers’ money we’ll catch you and you’ll be held accountable,” said Auditor Rob Sand.

As a result of the investigation, the CCUSO was recommended to take extra procedures to protect against employees committing theft. These recommendations include ensuring the timekeeping system is verified and accurate as well as logging any manual adjustments made to payroll. According to the report Rapp was able to use both her husband’s keyfob and her access to timesheets to clock incorrect hours which her husband received pay for.