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-   -   UGA Greek Life Embezzelment (http://www.greekchat.com/gcforums/showthread.php?t=246479)

thetalady 09-06-2019 12:38 AM

UGA Greek Life Embezzelment
 
What a horrific situation for Univ Georgia's Greek Life. An administrator killed herself on campus after it was discovered that she had embezzled over $1 mil from the university's Greek Life accounts over the course of a decade.

The Full Story

BossLadyAKA 09-06-2019 09:04 AM

The more I read, the wilder the story got. My goodness! I can't even buy two cups of coffee with my company card without a thorough explanation and description of charges attached.

ta kala 09-06-2019 09:48 AM

I was wondering if this story would get shared here. I worked in the GLO for two years during that time frame. While I am shocked that Lasina would do this, the oversight piece is not surprising. I don't have vivid memories of lack of oversight or anything on Claudia's part, but can totally see how Lasina was given complete control over those accounts.

Such a sad ending. Those who I've talked to and knew the people involved are all shocked.

AnchorAlumna 09-06-2019 11:24 AM

This is shocking.
And from so many different perspectives.
Why did Ms. Shamp never review bank accounts? Did the Panhellenic or IFC treasurers evern able to look at bank statements? If there were supposed to be UGA rules regarding the money, why were they ignored?
Why was UGA so reluctant to send out any news of this? Well, I can understand why, but apparently the Red & Black had to pull teeth to get any info. Good for them.
During my years as a reporter, I always wondered how some reporters could ferret out financial shenanigans. Heck, one of the reasons I became a reporter was because I was no good any any kind of math, much less reading financial statements.

33girl 09-06-2019 11:34 AM

At least she stole the least money from the sick childrenís fund? Sorry, thatís all I got.

Unless you are someone with a deep-seeded grudge running a long con, I donít know how people do something like this and wake up and go through life every day.

PersistentDST 09-06-2019 01:20 PM

I cannot fathom this lack of oversight across the board. And then to see that people were also misusing p-cards and other forms of payment? Where is the training? Where is accounts payable? Where are the auditors? I had jobs on campus’s where I couldn’t order an extra pizza for students without massive scrutiny. This is bananas!

This is an awful ending. And now the policies moving forward will probably be overkill for all those handling budgets.

ASTalumna06 09-06-2019 01:47 PM

What in the actual F?! Sticky notes? Blank checks? No budget? Zero oversight? Are you kidding me?

Quote:

In early July, a report of theft was filed with the UGA Police Department. As police began interviewing members of the Greek Life Office (GLO) and Evans’ family, other officers, along with the university’s Internal Auditing Division, sifted through a decade of bank statements, receipts, checks and expenses. The investigation revealed that Shamp, Assistant Greek Life Director Elizabeth Pittard and other staff never set budgets or tracked expenses, with “misplaced trust,” often relying on verbal confirmation from Evans or numbers written on sticky notes.
.....

Pittard told investigators Evans would sometimes write the available funds in the Panhellenic Council account on a sticky note and leave it on her desk. Evans would tell Pittard the PHC “broke even” when they discussed funds after sorority recruitment, according to UGAPD documents.

The July 29 IAD report said Shamp failed to provide “any form of monitoring procedures over the financial activity of GLO.” There were no budgets for the organizations managed by the GLO, and no mechanism to monitor and investigate unusual activity.

Blank checks Shamp and Pittard signed were later found to have been made out to Evans. Neither supervisor reviewed bank statements — Shamp told police she simply trusted Evans, whom she worked with for almost 20 years.

Bank statements also listed “a large number of purchases” from stores such as T.J. Maxx, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Big Lots, Target, Kroger, Sam’s Club, Walmart and various department stores totaling about $156,000 that “appear to be unauthorized” on the IFC, PHC and UGA Miracle accounts.
.....

Evans made 323 ATM transactions from the PHC account, 361 transactions from the IFC account and 64 transactions from the UGA Miracle account. Of the 748 ATM transactions, 713 were for the maximum amount of $600. Video files from Synovus ATMs indicate Evans made multiple cash withdrawals from the Tate Plaza Synovus ATM, just a short walk from the GLO in the Tate Student Center.
......

Mason Black, assistant director of the GLO and adviser to the IFC, was not an authorized check signer on any accounts, but he told investigators he shared his purchasing card with students who wanted to make IFC-related purchases, and did not review the purchases.

lake 09-06-2019 02:34 PM

I'm always interested (and amazed) when I read stories about embezzlement cases because it's always the same story over and over again: A trusted employee and absolutely no oversight by anyone in the organization. This happens all the time, whether it's a business, church, non-profit, whatever, it's always the same scenario.

What I want to know is why the so-called Director was allowed to "retire" and the so-called Assistant Director was allowed to "resign"? Why weren't they both fired?

KSUViolet06 09-06-2019 02:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PersistentDST (Post 2469235)
I cannot fathom this lack of oversight across the board. And then to see that people were also misusing p-cards and other forms of payment? Where is the training? Where is accounts payable? Where are the auditors? I had jobs on campusís where I couldnít order an extra pizza for students without massive scrutiny. This is bananas!

This is an awful ending. And now the policies moving forward will probably be overkill for all those handling budgets.

All of this. I work in K-12 education but same. I can't even charge a pack of gum for my students.

SigmaCat 09-06-2019 03:18 PM

I'm not that surprised. At our college, most administrators don't do any actual oversight work (or any work, really) either. Our president's office made a massive, obvious, continuing clerical error that nobody involved caught - not the president, not our financial administrator, not our board, nobody - which left us owing the state millions.

TriDeltaSallie 09-06-2019 06:37 PM

If someone came here to pitch a movie concept that one of the top Greek panhellenics in the country where every recruitment detail is carefully watched, timed, and noted could have someone embezzling this much money for this long, we'd have laughed her out of here.

And yet here we are.

FSUZeta 09-06-2019 08:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TriDeltaSallie (Post 2469243)
If someone came here to pitch a movie concept that one of the top Greek panhellenics in the country where every recruitment detail is carefully watched, timed, and noted could have someone embezzling this much money for this long, we'd have laughed her out of here.

And yet here we are.

Bingo!

thetalady 09-06-2019 08:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lake (Post 2469237)
What I want to know is why the so-called Director was allowed to "retire" and the so-called Assistant Director was allowed to "resign"? Why weren't they both fired?

AMEN!!!! They should both have been fired immediately. I wish they could be prosecuted for dereliction of duty. I just hope the school can get back some of the embezzled funds.

AnchorAlumna 09-06-2019 09:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thetalady (Post 2469251)
AMEN!!!! They should both have been fired immediately. I wish they could be prosecuted for dereliction of duty. I just hope the school can get back some of the embezzled funds.

They can probably sell the cars for some money. The remodeled house maybe. Looks like most of it was just p!ssed away on Starbucks and crap.

Titchou 09-06-2019 10:10 PM

Having known Claudia from years back, I'm totally shocked. She was such a control freak back then. Very sad all around.

SydneyK 09-07-2019 12:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AnchorAlumna (Post 2469253)
Looks like most of it was just p!ssed away on Starbucks and crap.

... and lottery tickets

GratefulGramma 09-08-2019 01:10 AM

It happened to me, on a much smaller scale, over a period of five or six years. But he wasn't using the bank accounts (I reconciled them straight out of the envelope), he had opened a credit card in the company name, but cards were only issued in two people's names and the issuing bank refused to talk to me even though I was the owner of the company. We didn't choose to prosecute, we just treated the funds as loans, forgave the loans and issued a 1099 for the total amount. Again, a much smaller amount and one that doing it out way was fine. I was surrounded by attorneys and CPA's and we all agreed.

Sororitysock 09-08-2019 02:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SydneyK (Post 2469259)
... and lottery tickets

I feel like a gambling addiction was possibly the primary reason she started and one of the reasons for continuing was a belief that she would eventually win big and pay it off without anyone finding out. Something similar happened at a company I worked for right after college. The company, lets call it Williams Widget Works, often received payments made out to WWW instead of the full company name. One of the accounting employees created his own company called WWW, and used it to open a new bank account for his business. Then he would help himself to some of those payment checks that were made out to WWW and deposit them to his own business account. He was eventually caught and blamed his gambling addiction, and because he attended church with the founders, they fired him but didn't prosecute him. We learned a few years later he'd stolen from another employer, and that one wasn't anywhere near as forgiving and neither was the jury.

Sciencewoman 09-08-2019 11:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sororitysock (Post 2469271)
I feel like a gambling addiction was possibly the primary reason she started and one of the reasons for continuing was a belief that she would eventually win big and pay it off without anyone finding out.

Agreed. It seems like gambling debts aren't an uncommon situation when you read about various embezzlement cases. I'm sure there are cases where the gambling came first, which led to embezzlement to get access to more money, and cases where the embezzlement came first and gambling looked like a way to get a large amount of money fast to pay off the embezzled funds. Either way, people just get deeper and deeper into a hole and they can't stop gambling or embezzling because the two are linked.

I am profoundly shocked that there wasn't tighter scrutiny in place at UGA. I'm a department chair at a large state university, and this could just never happen. For purchasing cards, we have to reconcile monthly statements and upload receipts in a online storage system, our purchasing office conducts random purchasing card audits that are highly detailed (there is one employee for whom this is her ONLY job), budgets are closely monitored by the accounting office, etc. We don't have handwritten "blank checks" or department debit cards. I've also directed a number of large federal grants, and the university scrutiny there is also lock-tight. Our assigned accountant monitored our expenditures closely, as did I as the PI on the grants, and we were in frequent communication.

Same thing for my House Corp. Board service -- the co-treasurer and I always send each other receipts before we approve any check the other co-signer entered.

I just can't believe that this went on like this for so long. Absolutely mind-boggling and really sad. My best friend (and Sorority sister) is the President of another institution in the UGA system...I won't ask her about any confidential information, which she would not share anyway, but I'm also sure their purchasing practices oversight has been ratcheted up to much higher level.


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