Tripathi releases statement regarding criminal charges filed against two former employees

Release Date: September 7, 2017

BUFFALO, N.Y. — University at Buffalo President Satish K. Tripathi released a statement today that a former UB employee has pleaded guilty to a felony charge of grand larceny and another former UB employee has pleaded guilty to a felony charge of grand larceny and an additional felony charge of offering a false instrument for filing.     

The statement was shared in an email to all members of the UB community. The statement describes steps the university took to uncover and report a pattern of financial abuse perpetuated by the two former employees, as well as the university’s cooperation with investigating agencies and the measures it has taken to tighten financial controls.

Tripathi’s statement is as follows:

Today, the Erie County District Attorney’s Office held a press conference announcing that a former UB employee has pleaded guilty to a felony charge of grand larceny and another former UB employee has pleaded guilty to a felony charge of grand larceny and an additional felony charge of offering a false instrument for filing.     

This matter stems from a university audit conducted by UB’s Office of Internal Audit in April 2016. This audit was conducted at my direction due to concerns of financial mismanagement in the former University Life and Services organization.

The UB audit uncovered a pattern of financial abuse, including the misappropriation of state funds in the former University Life and Services organization and the Faculty-Student Association. (The Faculty-Student Association is a separate, private, not-for-profit corporation affiliated with UB.)

In July 2016, I, in consultation with the Office of General Counsel for SUNY, directed UB’s Office of Internal Audit to refer this matter to the New York State Office of the Inspector General. Concurrently, this matter was referred to the SUNY Fraud Committee.

In July 2016, the Office of the Inspector General assumed responsibility for this investigation. Throughout the investigation, UB cooperated fully with the Office of the Inspector General, and UB will cooperate fully with the Office of the District Attorney.

As soon as we uncovered the financial abuse, the University at Buffalo took swift and appropriate measures to tighten financial controls in both the former University Life and Services organization and the Faculty-Student Association, including assigning authority for all financial decisions and transactions to the Vice President for Finance and Administration.

Media Contact Information

John DellaContrada
Associate Vice President for Media Relations and Stakeholder Communications
Tel: 716-645-4601 (mobile: 716-361-3006)
dellacon@buffalo.edu
Twitter: @UBNewsSource