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I-Team: Ex-UNLV workers busted in credit card scheme | News

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I-Team: Ex-UNLV workers busted in credit card scheme

LAS VEGAS -- More allegations of theft by public employees have surfaced, this time at the University of Nevada - Las Vegas. It comes one day after an I-Team report about a Clark County clerk accused of stealing cash from the till.

The latest investigation involves an alleged theft ring that involved UNLV credit cards. The investigation began more than a year ago, but only recently have the suspected thieves been before a magistrate.

Two former UNLV employees are charged with misconduct by a public official and more than two dozen counts of theft. Lina Khachekian and Marisa Neuhaus are accused in a scheme to fraudulently use university credit cards to buy consumer goods -- and would later sell them online.

Both women were purchasing agents for UNLV's Office of Information Technology.

They're accused of using university MasterCards to buy things like iPods, cameras, and electronic accessories and either keeping them or selling them for cash.

In court papers requesting an arrest warrant -- an attorney general investigator alleges Khacheckian diverted much of the property she bought with her university credit card to her brother and cousin, both who were connected to an internet sales site called SavingsHub.
A Facebook page found by the I-Team found for an outfit called 'SavingsHUB' displays a review written by none other than Khachekian. It's a glowing review.

The affidavit says Khachekian and Neuhaus phonied up receipts and invoices to make their purchase look legit. It's estimated -- in the affidavit -- that the pair were responsible for defrauding UNLV out of more than $292,000.00 between Nov. 1 2011 and March 13, 2013.

The I-Team contacted SavingsHub, but were unable to reach anyone in management. A customer service agent said they didn't recognize the names of Khacheckian's brother or cousin.

In an email, a UNLV spokesperson said that UNLV was insured and was reimbursed for its losses and controls have been put into place to prevent this from happening again.

Both women in the case resigned from the school last March when they learned they were under investigation. They remain free on their own recognizance awaiting trial.