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August 29, 2013

Ex-manager of Missouri State bookstore sentenced in million-dollar theft

Prosecutors say Mark Brixey, 48, of Ozark, Mo., stole from the bookstore from 2003 until 2012, when the theft was discovered while he was on vacation. Auditors found $81,000 in cash in his desk drawer.

A man who admitted stealing up to $1.16 million from the Missouri State University bookstore was sentenced Thursday to five years and three months in prison and ordered to make restitution.

Prosecutors say Mark Brixey, 48, of Ozark, stole from the bookstore from 2003 until 2012, when the theft was discovered while he was on vacation. He pleaded guilty in March to wire fraud, money laundering and filing a false income tax return.

Investigators have said Brixey embezzled most of the money through a student textbook buyback program and while selling discontinued books to bulk book buyers.

University and law enforcement officials have said they didn’t know what Brixey did with most of the money.

Brixey was ordered to report to prison by Oct. 15. Before he was sentenced, he made a tearful apology.

“I offer no excuses for what I did because what I did, quite frankly, was inexcusable,” he said.

When the theft was discovered, auditors found $81,000 in cash in Brixey’s desk drawer. He resigned the day before he otherwise would have been fired, according to university officials.

Brixey worked at the bookstore as a student and was hired full time in January 1991. He was promoted to director in October 2000.

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