HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A former TSTC employee was arrested on theft charges, officials stated.
Joyce Ontiveros was arrested on charges of theft of property and misapplication of financial property, according to Cameron County records.
A probable cause affidavit revealed that on March 10, TSTC officials notified police of a procurement card fraud investigation. Ontiveros, who was in charge of budget for the Dual Enrollment department, was identified as the suspect.
The affidavit stated that Ontiveros used the TSTC issued MasterCard to purchase furniture and consumable goods from Jan. 13, 2022 to Dec. 22, 2022.
An auditor was able to identify 59 transactions that were either fraudulent, or likely to be fraudulent made using the P-card assigned to Dual Enrollment operational expenses. The affidavit notes purchases from Amazon, Walmart, La Taqueria Jalisco, Tejano Grill and other restaurants and stores.
“The total amount of transactions made by Ontiveros was approximately $6,830.32,” the affidavit stated.
On March 21, police conducted a knock and talk at her residence. One of her relatives answered the door, telling police she was not home. He told police that Ontiveros would receive a lot of packages for the Dual Enrollment department delivered to their home, to the point the entrance to their foyer would fill up and make it almost impossible to walk.
Later that day, police interviewed Ontiveros.
“Ontiveros said she would sometimes do the shopping on the weekend to prepare for the events and activities however when advised that there were no events or activities taking place due to the COVID issue she said that she shared the snacks and drinks with the other departments,” the document reads.
She told police that she was advised to use up the funding or the department would lose it.
In a statement, TSTC officials confirmed the arrest, stating that local law enforcement will handle any questions as the investigation remains ongoing.
“Texas State Technical College (TSTC) is cooperating with local Harlingen law enforcement officials regarding the ongoing investigation and arrest of former TSTC employee, Joyce Ontiveros,” the statement reads.
Records show that she is pending arraignment, as of Friday.