Kathy S. Pollock, Janet C. Papiernik
Journal of Critical Incidents
January 01, 2016
This descriptive critical incident describes the events and resulting tragic consequences of Dr. Cecilia Chang’s extensive, alleged fraud that extended over a 30-year period while serving as a college dean at St. John’s University. In a for-profit company, employee embezzlement typically averages a loss of approximately $130,000 over an 18-month period (ACFE Fraud Survey, 2014). In a non-profit organization, however, the trust extended to employees may put the organization at even greater risk, potentially allowing higher amounts of lost dollars and a longer period of time for the fraud to be detected. Although no one will ever know the full amount actually stolen or misused by Chang, the courts awarded approximately $2 million in restitution. After her death, the case was settled for $1.2 million collected from the estate.