Former Shippensburg University secretary charged with stealing over $14k in unauthorized credit card transactions

29 February 2024- A now-former Shippensburg University secretary stands accused of using her school-owned credit card for over $14,000 of unauthorized purchases during a four month span in 2023. Anissa Michelle Burkholder is charged with felony theft, misdemeanor theft, and three felony counts of forgery. Burkholder is free on an unsecured bail of $5,000.

Officers with the Shippensburg University Police Department were contacted by school faculty in early September of a possible theft of a significant amount of money from the school by an employee. The department alleged that Anissa Burkholder, a secretary for the Chemistry/Physics department, had been using a university credit card for personal purchased and was forging her supervisor’s signatures on the necessary authorizations. Additionally, it was believed that Burkholder had made unauthorized withdrawals from a bank account held by the school’s Chemistry Club.

By August of 2023, the school’s accounting had noticed numerous apparent fraudulent purchased and compiled a comprehensive list of transactions at Target, Walmart, Amazon, the Shippensburg University Store, and other vendors. In order for these transactions to be green lit, a supervisor signature had to be obtained. All of them reportedly came from Burkholder’s new supervisor, according to SUPD.

In total, SUPD say that $14,674.15 was charged as part of unauthorized transactions from Shippensburg University bank accounts. That amounted to 487 items purchased. Additionally, investigators say that $400.65 was taken from the Shippensburg University Chemistry Club bank account from unauthorized withdrawals. Credit card transactions were dated from April 28th to August 14th, all of 2023.

The Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office was brough into the loop to continue this investigation at this point. According to detectives, Burkholder separated from the University and had been returning items purchased in the aforementioned timeframe to Target and Walmart in order to get credit placed back onto the Shippensburg University credit card. Additionally, Burkholder allegedly dropped off a box of items to Shippensburg PD in an effort to “return unauthorized purchases”.

Investigators met with Burkholder’s former supervisor about the thefts. During that time it was revealed that she did not sign any documents authorizing the previously mentioned purchases made by Burkholder.

Burkholder herself was interviewed by Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office detectives shortly after, with her allegedly admitting to purchasing numerous personal items with the school’s cards. Additionally, detectives say that she described using electronic versions of her supervisor’s signature on the transaction logs, hence the multiple charges of forgery.

Anissa Burkholder is free on an unsecured bail of $5,000.

Sources: Docket Number: MJ-09301-CR-0000075-2024, Incident No.: CC00000083799