Washington University Embezzler Basia Skudrzyk Pleads Guilty in $300,000 Fraud

An ex-business director embezzled $300,000 from Washington University, authorities say. - COURTESY OF FLICKR/GRABADONUT
An ex-business director embezzled $300,000 from Washington University, authorities say.

A former Washington University employee who paid for trips across the world, jewelry and even her divorce lawyer with embezzled money has pleaded guilty to three counts of federal mail fraud.

Barbara "Basia" Skudrzyk, 38, ran a variety of scams from May 2010 through July 31, 2018, costing the university more than $300,000. She had been the business director for the division of medical education at the university. On the side, she was secretly writing bogus invoices to cover personal bills to all sorts of vendors, including construction crews, a jewelry boutique, house cleaners, movers and her babysitter.

She fooled the university into paying for it all. She also forged a colleague's signature to buy VISA gift cards at the university bookstore, which used to buy jewelry and dine out.
click to enlarge Basia Skudrzyk, as shown in her LinkedIn. - VIA LINKEDIN
Basia Skudrzyk, as shown in her LinkedIn.

Prosecutors say Skudrzyk liked to travel as well. She altered invoices from a pair of travel agencies to get the university to pay for plane tickets to fly her and her family to Krakow, Poland; Munich; Bangkok; Toronto; West Palm Beach, Florida; New York City, Dallas and San Antonio.

She was charged in September, and pleaded guilty today at the federal courthouse in downtown St. Louis.

"Ms Skudrzyk is clearly an intelligent and talented person," her attorney, Nick Williams of Kessler Williams, said in a written statement. "Her plea is a step toward an acceptance of responsibility and a rehabilitated life."

Skudrzyk is set to be sentenced on March 8. She'll have to pay restitution and could face twenty years in prison and fines of $250,000 for each of her three fraud charges.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with a statement from Skudrzyk's attorney.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at [email protected] or follow on Twitter at @DoyleMurphy.

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