A former part-time recreation center employee at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell has pleaded not guilty to stealing more than $200,000 from the school.
Denise Daly, 53, is charged with five counts of larceny over $250, false entry in corporate books, forgery, uttering a forged record and witness intimidation in Middlesex County Superior Court. She was arraigned and released on personal recognizance Jan. 19. Daly, who was indicted by a Middlesex grand jury on Dec. 15, 2015, was ordered to stay away from UMass campuses and facilities, and to have no contact with witnesses, including UMass employees.
Beginning in 2008, Daly worked at UMass-Lowell's recreation center, which offers a fitness center, an indoor track and racquet courts. An audit found Daly allegedly took over $217,000 in cash from the center between 2008 and 2013.
Beginning in 2008, the center began using a digital system to record transactions made by cash, check or credit card. All cash payments were deposited into a drop safe. Day allegedly was solely responsible for any cash collected by student employees and for preparing deposit reports for signature by her supervisor, according to the Middlesex County District Attorney's office.
Daly is accused of manipulating reports her supervisor approved and forging the supervisor's signature on a report reflecting less revenue than what the rec center collected. She allegedly kept the difference for herself. In the second half of 2011, Daly is accused of changing her method by exporting data from accounting software into Microsoft Excel then editing the Excel files in an attempt to conceal missing funds.
UMass-Lowell officials conducted an internal audit after discovering the revenue discrepancies. The alleged stolen funds were cash receipts covering locker fees, guest fees and towel rentals. Daly's employment was terminated in January 2014. No other employees were involved in the alleged scheme, UMass-Lowell spokesperson Jeff Cournoyer told the Lowell Sun.
"Following the discovery, new cash controls were implemented at the recreation center, and all cash management systems on campus were scrutinized and strengthened,'' he said.