Sophia Hussein, Contributing Writer
Posted 9:40 PM EST, Sun., Jan. 29, 2017
On Dec. 14, 2016, Stacey Walters, former employee of Howard University, was sentenced to one year and one day on charges of embezzlement after pleading guilty to a federal charge of wire fraud and admitting to embezzling over $105,000 from the university. In addition to incarceration, Walters was ordered by District Judge James E. Boasberg to be placed on three years of supervised release, as well as payment in restitution in the amount of $57,586.
From December of 2010 to May 2011, Walters was found to have embezzled $9,388 from university accounts to her personal account and $96, 398 to the account of Shantel Brown, of Waldorf, MD.
Brown, 34, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud. On November 1, 2016, Brown, who had the money transferred to her account by Walters, was sentenced to one year and a day in prison, which will be followed by three years of supervised release as well as the payment of $128,072 in restitution. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of Columbia, Brown stole an additional $79,874 from her former employer, Defenders of Wildlife, where she worked as a payroll/compliance specialist at the time.
Walters transferred funds from the university by fraudulently authorizing payments to vendors. According to the government’s evidence, Walters submitted 13 forms authorizing payment from her employer to various vendors throughout her time as an employee of the university.
As the university is set to celebrate its 150th anniversary in March, the lack of administrative oversight is brought into question. The case of Stacey Walters is not the first of its kind, as in June of 2012, Laurie Napper, a former medical technician at Howard University’s Hospital pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to the wrongful disclosure of individually identifiable health information. Napper was sentenced to six months in a halfway house and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service.
After several phone call attempts to the office of Howard’s Chief Financial Officer for comment, The Hilltop did not receive an immediate response.
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