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Currently Viewing Posts Tagged Embezzlement

The Interest Catches Professor

     A true “if only” story from Or, it could simply be called a story about stealing and getting caught.

     In 1975, James Hardigan became a dental professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. In 1980, he became the associate dean for administrative affairs for VCU’s Dental Faculty Practice Association. In 2004, he retired from VCU and subsequently moved to Florida. What happened in between just caught up with him.

     Records show that in 1995, Hardigan opened up an investment account in the Dental Association’s name using the Association’s funds, for an initial deposit of $500,000. In 2004 when Hardigan retired, he transferred the account balance of $137,553 into his own personal account. The discrepancy of the 500K used to open the account versus what was transferred is still unclear.

     At the time of the amount transferred, apparently there was still a few cents that had not been credited for the monthly statement. Those pennies remained in the account after the transfer. In 2013,  the investment firm where the account had originally been opened contacted VCU and the Dental Association about the account. By now, 63 cents of interest  had accrued in the account. 

     Because the Association knew nothing of the account, school officials began looking into it. Soon, they learned about the funds and the transfer that went into the retired professor’s account.

      This past Thursday, Hardigan was in Richmond Circuit Court where he pled¹ guilty to felony embezzlement of $137,553. The details of his past caught up with the 69-year-old former professor. He probably once thought, “if only I had waited until the end of the month to get those remaining cents”. Or, maybe now he is saying, “If only I had not done it”.   The retired professor now awaits sentencing on August 9, which could be as much as twenty years.  

(¹ ABA Journal says that pleaded is also correct.  In US Supreme Court opinions “pleaded” was used 3,000 times and “pled” was used 26 times )

     This pic o’ seems appropriate for a Monday morning:


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