A University of Waterloo employee secretly arranged for his mother to be paid $148,000 from the school’s coffers, his fraud trial heard Tuesday.

Jeffrey Lederer is charged with fraud, theft and uttering forged documents.

He was employed by Waterloo until 2011, when he was asked to leave his position as general manager of the university’s architectural school.

His trial began Tuesday, with an opening statement from assistant Crown attorney Jennifer Caskie.

Caskie claimed that through his access at the architectural school, Lederer paid his mother-in-law as a casual employee of the school – even though she was not an employee or student herself – and billed $39,000 worth of personal expenses to his work credit card.

She also made reference to a letter Lederer wrote to his supervisor, in which he apologized for his personal use of the credit card, saying he had a gambling problem and felt undervalued by the university.

The trial continued with testimony from Carol Kendrick, who worked as Lederer’s administrative assistant.

Kendrick said that although her name appeared on paperwork requesting that Lederer’s mother-in-law be paid, she never filed the requests in question.

A payroll manager with the university then testified that questionable payments involving Lederer began in 2004.

The trial is expected to last for two weeks.

CLARIFICATION: While Jeffrey Lederer was the general manager of the University of Waterloo's School of Architecture until 2011, he was never the head of the school. Incorrect information appeared in an earlier version of this article.