Former Clarke U. employee pleads guilty to charges related to theft of more than $300,000

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DUBUQUE, Iowa — A former Clarke University employee has pleaded guilty to charges connected to the theft of more than $300,000 from the school.

Clemens Erdahl, an attorney for James Spaulding, says his client entered the plea Thursday on one count of mail fraud and two counts of filing a false tax return.

Erdahl says Spaulding requested to start serving prison time immediately, though a sentence hasn't been issued.

Spaulding is a former bookstore manager at the eastern Iowa school. Authorities say he submitted invoices to buy books from a company he established in 2011 with a friend. He is accused of issuing checks for several invoices between 2011 and 2012. He would later receive cashier's checks.

Clarke University reported the theft in April 2013 after an internal review of vendors.

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