Student faces $5,000 embezzlement charge

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January 27, 2008

4:30 PM

p. After a campus police investigation, William McClain ’08 was arrested Jan. 18 and charged with embezzling more than $5,000 from Students Serve, a student-run nonprofit organization that gives academic grants for community service projects.

p. McClain, who served as associate director of finance for the organization, faces a range of potential punitive actions from the College, in addition to state criminal charges.

p. McClain is also the vice president of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity and has served as an orientation aide and the recycling coordinator for the Student Assembly, according to his student profile on the fraternity’s website.

p. McClain’s case, like all other student cases, will first be dealt with by the College administration, and then the case may pass on to the Judicial Council or to the Honor Council. Those decisions are handled on a case-by-case basis, and discussion of individual cases is prevented by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act.

p. “Any violation of law by students is subject to the school’s disciplinary system. These can range from a warning to full dismissal,” College spokeswoman Suzanne Seurattan said.

p. The Executive Director of Students Serve, Angela Perkey ’09 reported the alleged embezzlement to College police Jan. 14. Lieutenant John Coleman headed the investigation, analyzing Students Serve’s records and speaking to individuals who are involved in the organization.

p. “We spoke to several individuals and ultimately to McClain. The details of the investigation will come out in court,” Coleman said.

p. In an interview with The Flat Hat, Perkey said that the missing funds had been restored and College police had decided to press charges.

p. Perkey also said that she was taking steps to avoid similar incidents in the future and that other service organizations can learn from the incident.

“We are making sure that this will never happen again,” Perkey said. “I would definitely advise other student leaders to go ahead and at least review their financial procedures,” Perkey said.

p. According to Perkey, all is back to normal at Students Serve.

p. “Students Serve is back in action. We’re ready to go; we have our next grant application deadline Mar. 15,” Perkey said.

p. McClain was held in the Peninsula Regional Jail in Jamestown and issued a $3,000 unsecured bond.

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