STORRS, Conn. — A Georgia woman who diverted $773,000 from a University of Connecticut account that were intended to go to Dell computers has been arrested and is now held on $1 million bond, police said Friday.
UConn discovered in May that someone had hacked into a bill-paying account and diverted a total of 32 payments meant for Dell over a five-week span, police said.
The theft of $773,079.35 took place from April 12 to May 9 and was discovered after Dell contacted UConn about the past due bills, UConn police said.
An investigation led UConn police to Muthini Nzuki, 39, of Kennesaw, Ga. She is a native of Kenya who is a naturalized U.S. citizen.
Nzuki, also known as Jane Kiio, hacked into the account and changed the routing number on the payments to her personal bank account in Georgia, UConn police said.
The bank account in Georgia was drained, largely trough checks made out to Nzuki and her alias as well as through debit withdrawals, police said.
She was charged with first-degree larceny and first-degree E-crime / misuse of information with fraudulent intent in the case.
The arrest warrant was signed in Rockville Superior Court on Aug. 16.
UConn Police requested the assistance of the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Task Force in Georgia to assist in making the arrest. On Aug. 24, Nzuki was located by Cobb County Sheriff’s Office and taken into custody after she returned from a lengthy trip out of the country to France and Kenya, police said.
Nzuki initially refused to waive extradition to Connecticut to face charges. A governor’s warrant was prepared by Rockville Superior Court, which was approved in both Connecticut and Georgia.
On Oct. 19, Nzuki was extradited from Georgia by University of Connecticut Police Detectives and transported to University of Connecticut Police Department Headquarters for processing.
She appeared in Rockville Superior Court on Friday morning.
Georgia woman stole $773,000 from UConn
"No student or employee data appear to have been accessed or compromised as a result of this incident," a statement from UConn said. "UConn immediately notified the vendor, its payment system vendor, the state auditors and relevant law enforcement authorities upon becoming aware of this incident."
UConn is continuing to investigate the incident and is working "to resolve this incident in a manner that does not result in loss to UConn and that ensures similar incidents do not occur in the future," the statement said.
If she posts bond, Nzuki will be required to turn in her U.S. and Kenyan passports.
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