Former Southern University Official Pleads Guilty in Embezzlement Scheme
BATON ROUGE, La.
A former Southern University official has pleaded guilty to charges regarding a scheme in which money was skimmed from a work-study program.
Moses K. Dupre, 41, entered the guilty plea last month to charges of aiding and abetting embezzlement, misapplication and obtaining federal funds by theft or fraud.
U.S. District Judge Frank Polozola will sentence Dupre after a background investigation. He allowed Dupre, who faces up to five years in prison, to remain free on bail.
Dupre admitted helping to skim nearly $40,000 from the federally funded Strengthening Historically Black Colleges and Universities program, which pays qualified students who work at a university. Dupre admitted to putting the names of nonworking students on the payroll and signing the names of the only two officials at Southern authorized to sign payroll vouchers.
Defense attorney Elbert Guillory said Dupre did not personally profit from the alleged scheme. At first, Dupre believed he was helping needy students but came to realize that something was wrong as time passed, Guillory said.
Two other former Southern officials have pleaded guilty in the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ian Hipwell said the former official who headed the program, Eloise G. Blount, has signed a plea agreement and is set to go to court Aug. 20. Prosecutors say Blount is connected with $132,000 that was taken from the program. She is accused of personally collecting kickbacks and sharing in money received by other employees in the financial aid office (see Black Issues, Feb. 1).
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