Multi-year fraud scheme by former employees uncovered at Tuskegee University

TUSKEGEE, Alabama (WSFA) – Several Tuskegee University employees are no longer with the school after a multi-year fraud scheme was uncovered during an internal investigation.

According to a letter from Tuskegee University President Charlotte P. Morris, the internal investigation began after university administrators learned of financial irregularities in the payment of grants and some fund accounts.

An investigation by a special review committee and law enforcement began in January. Morris said the investigation revealed that several employees had carried out a multi-year scheme to defraud Tuskegee of approximately $ 500,000 by embezzling grants and funds belonging to the university.

As a result, employees are no longer employed due to their involvement or inability to prevent the scheme. Among these employees, three were arrested and charged with theft by state security forces. The university has not identified the former employees.

Morris said the program had minimal impact on the distribution of university money in grant funding and did not involve student financial aid. The ploy is believed to have involved small increments, Morris added, to be an “intentional tactic” to avoid detection.

“While no theft is ever acceptable, we have learned that the fraud scheme altogether involved less than 2% of the grant funds involved,” Morris said.

Following the investigation, Morris said the university continues to cooperate with law enforcement and the ongoing criminal investigation.

“I want to assure you that nothing is more important to me than creating a safe, welcoming and secure campus environment where all members of our community feel valued and able to contribute to the greater good,” Morris said. . “To achieve this, each of us must feel empowered to speak up if we experience or see something that goes against our values.”

The university has also taken several “corrective actions and corrective actions” to prevent future fraudulent activity, Morris added.

Copyright 2021 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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