Former SDSU employee charged in identity theft of co-worker

By Jordan Smith Managing Editor

A former employee of the SDSU Chemistry department has been charged with five felony charges, after allegedly opening up credit cards under the name of a co-worker and using them to spend more than $35,000 in a span of nine months.

Kari Lynn Fuks, 38, was arrested Dec. 5. She has been charged with three felony counts of identity theft and two felony counts of grand theft. The charges were filed with the United Judicial System’s 3rd Circuit Clerk of Courts on Dec. 12 and Fuks has made an appearance in court. 

According to court and SDSU Police Department documents, Fuks opened up three credit cards between March and September under the name of Stephanie Lee Jensen. Both Jensen and Fuks worked together as secretaries in the department offices. 

During the week of November 11, while Fuks and her family were on a cruise vacation in Florida, Jensen found the three credit cards open under her name and contacted the credit card companies in question. 

One card that was opened in March had $28,065.65 in purchases and cash advances on it. When the account was closed, the unpaid balance was $12,159.88. Two more cards opened in September, including one that was used to pay for part of the cruise, had $5,857.90 and $2.271.61 spent on it, although the latter balance has been paid off. 

After the execution of search warrants and the credit card companies in question provided documentation, Fuks was arrested Dec. 5. 

The UPD probable cause statement indicates that this wasn’t the first instance of Fuks opening a card in the name of Jensen. In February, Fuks opened an American Express card with Jensen’s personal information. Jensen found out about the card in March and Fuks admitted to opening the credit account in Jensen’s name. 

Each count of a class six felony in the state of South Dakota carries two years of imprisonment in the state prison or a fine of $4,000, or both. Each count of a class four felony carries a penalty of 10 years in prison or a fine of $20,000, or both. The two charges for grand theft stem from the cards that have unpaid balances.

University counsel Tracy Greene told The Collegian Wednesday that Fuks is no longer employed by the university but said she was not at the liberty to discuss personnel matters.  

Her husband, Matt Fuks, has recently served as the SDSU Alumni Association President. Chairman of the SDSU Alumni Association Marc Mooney told The Collegian that Matt Fuks is no longer employed at the Alumni Association, but Mooney was not at liberty to discuss personnel matters. 

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