SALT LAKE CITY — A former academic adviser at the University of Utah accused of misusing public funds was booked into jail this week — three years after charges were filed against him.
Dustin James Porlas, 31, of Reseda, California, was charged April 15, 2016, in 3rd District Court with unlawful use of a transaction card and misuse of public money, both second-degree felonies.
Police say Porlas was issued a procurement card by the university in August 2014 "for authorized business purposes." The procurement card program is used "to allow for the direct procurement of nontravel small dollar-related purchases by the end-user through the use of a credit card," according to the U.'s website. "The Procurement Card, an institutional credit card, is billed directly to and paid by the University of Utah."
Just a year after being issued the card, Porlas reached his spending limit on his card and "many of the transactions appeared to be personal in nature," according to charging documents.
An internal investigation and audit revealed that Porlas had charged approximately $31,153 for personal items, which included transactions at Target, Nordstrom, the Cheesecake Factory, Squatters, Lululemon and Amazon, the charges state.
An arrest warrant was issued on April 15, 2016. He was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on Monday and made his initial appearance in court on Tuesday, according to court records. He later posted bail. His next court hearing is scheduled for June 28.
Neither University of Utah police nor a spokesman for the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office on Wednesday immediately knew the circumstances of how Porlas came to be in custody after three years.