The lesson to be learned here is that no one should ever have access to impact their spouse's pay. It's way too risky, as a state of Iowa office has learned.

The case goes back to 2019 and in a media release, Iowa of Auditor of State Rob Sand says, "If you steal taxpayers' money, we'll catch you and you'll be held accountable." Here's how an ex-state employee was able to pull it off. At least until she was caught.

Renae Rapp worked as an administrative assistant for the Iowa Civil Commitment Unit for Sexual Offenders in Cherokee, in northwest Iowa. According to the Iowa Capital Dispatch, Renae's husband, Adam Rapp, was a psychiatric security specialist in the same office. The Iowa Auditor of State Office says he was a part-time employee.

After noticing that Adam Rapp was registering more work hours than expected in early 2021, an investigation was launched. That's when officials determined that Renae Rapp was using her husband's key fob to clock him in and out of work. She was doing it on days Adam wasn't even there. She also manually made changes to her husband's hours before submitting his time card through the state of Iowa payroll system.

Shortly after the discovery, Renae's only explanation was she "was just trying to make ends meet". She then resigned and Adam was fired.

So how bad was it and how long had it gone on?

The Iowa Auditor of State Office launched an investigation and determined that from August 2019 to February 2021, Renae Rapp's scheme had paid additional gross wages of $52,618.19 to her husband. The Des Moines Register says Adam Rapp should've received approximately $4,400 in gross compensation during that time, but was instead paid more than $57,000. An additional $8,992.47 in related payroll costs was incurred by the state, as a result of Renae Rapp's actions.

Even though the net wages electronically went into a bank account that the Rapps shared, the Iowa Auditor of State's Office says Adam "had no knowledge of the scheme."

Earlier this fall, Renae Rapp pleaded guilty to second-degree theft, a Class D felony. This week, she was sentenced to two years probation. She must also pay $57,252.04 in restitution to the state of Iowa.

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