A former University of Miami finance director embezzled $2.3 million from the college by falsifying bills for a bogus vendor and depositing the ill-gotten payments into the bank account of a fabricated business she had set up to hide the income, authorities said.
Kimberly Jean Miller, 58, who worked as the finance director of the UM Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, pleaded guilty to four counts of tax evasion on Tuesday in Miami federal court.
Miller, who was charged in late March, faces between three and four years in prison at her sentencing before U.S. District Judge Robert Scola on Aug. 16.
According to her plea deal, Miller admitted that she avoided paying about $330,000 in federal taxes on more than $1 million in unreported income between 2008 and 2011.
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The factual statement filed with the plea deal stated that “between 2002 and 2012, Miller used her authority at [Rosenstiel] to embezzle from the University of Miami, by falsifying invoices from a vendor called International Assets, [the school’s] print shop.”
Miller changed the name of the company on those invoices to “Inter, Inc.,” and then directed UM’s main office on the Coral Cables campus to issue the check payments to the Rosenstiel school on Virginia Key, the statement said. Miller then deposited the Inter, Inc. checks into a Citibank business account in the name of Intercontinental Oceans, Inc., a company she had opened in 1993.
An internal audit at Rosenstiel revealed that, over 10 years, Miller embezzled $2.3 million from the university, prosecutor Amanda Perwin said.
A UM spokeswoman declined to comment on Miller’s case, citing the university’s policy not to discuss personnel matters.
Miller prepared her own tax returns and “willfully failed to report to the United States Internal Revenue Service the money she had unlawfully obtained through her embezzlement scheme,” said the factual statement, which was signed by the defendant and her attorney, Walter Reynoso.