Former hospital cashier accused of stealing more than $400,000

Published: Thursday, Aug. 5 2010 7:12 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — A former University Hospital cafeteria cashier has been accused of stealing more than $400,000 from his cash register over a span of six years.

Tourage Pourpak is being sued by the state of Utah for negligence, breach of loyalty, and conversion for the alleged thefts which "deprived the state of monies in the amount of at least $444,001," according to the lawsuit filed Wednesday in 3rd District Court.

The lawsuit states that Pourpak "engaged in a deliberate and continuous pattern of thefts" from Dec. 27, 2002, through Jan. 9, 2009, when he was recorded taking money from his cash register by a security camera. After viewing the recording, a review of sales was done to determine how much had been stolen.

Hospital officials believe that a total of at least $444,001 and as much as $487,753 was taken from the cafeteria's registers over that time, according to the lawsuit.

The amount of money taken was determined following a comparison between Pourpak's sales and those of other employees who worked at the same time and place as Pourpak. The officials also compared the number of cash versus credit card sales he made against those made by other employees.

The hospital was paid $444,001 by State Risk Management, which is now asking that Pourpak repay the amount, plus 10 percent interest per year from 2009 until the judgment is awarded. They are also asking that the state's litigation costs be repaid.

Pourpak was given a staff service award by the University of Utah in 2007, commemorating 25 years of service with the nutrition care services division.

A search of court records revealed that Pourpak was charged with seven counts of falsely making a financial transaction in 1994, but the charges were all later dismissed for lack of evidence.

A hospital spokesman declined to comment until he could further review the details of the case.

e-mail: emorgan@desnews.com

TWITTER: DNewsCrimeTeam

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