Texas Tribune, Former Law School Employee Defrauded UT-Austin Out of Nearly $1.6 million, Internal Report Finds:
A former University of Texas at Austin facilities director facing felony charges ran an elaborate financial scheme from his perch at one of the state’s top law schools, costing the university nearly $1.6 million, an internal memorandum released Friday found.
A sternly worded letter from a university provost blamed the aw school dean for “serious failures” in oversight, and the law school must pay for a continuous audit of its internal business operations for the next year. The audit will cost about $110,000.
“As a public university, we must always be good stewards of our budget and earn the public trust,” said UT-Austin spokesman Gary Susswein in a statement to The Texas Tribune. “We will work to prevent this type of behavior from occurring again.”
Jason Shoumaker is said to have engaged in a variety of financial and professional improprieties at UT-Austin, including funneling payments to vendors who may have been friends and associates, falsifying travel documents and educational credentials, and manipulating procurement processes to make a host of questionable purchases with little oversight. ...
The university has already begun tightening its financial controls and will strengthen its efforts to detect and prevent fraud. The law school’s dean, Ward Farnsworth, has been asked to make improvements. ...
Farnsworth apologized to the law school community in a Friday email. “The well-being of this wonderful institution has always been my highest concern as your dean. I am sorry that the school has suffered as a result of this employee’s actions and my failure to stop him,” he wrote.
The investigation — conducted by UT-Austin auditors with input from an outside law firm — said lax processes allowed Shoumaker to get away with profligate spending of university funds.
Law.com, Audit Finds Former UT Law Staffer Embezzled $1.6 Million
(Hat Tip: Mark Pulliam.)