Check out our update to this story.
If you haven’t heard about Howard University’s embezzlement scandal, then you must have been hiding under a rock. Yesterday, social media (ahem…Twitter) and news outlets erupted with scandalous details involving the historically black university (HBCU).
What happened at Howard University?
An anonymous whistleblower leaked news of financial misconduct on an online blogging platform called the Medium this week.
The whistleblower claimed the Associate Director of Financial Aid and other individuals working in the financial aid office (including students) misappropriated funds from 2007 to 2016. Instead of doling out desperately needed funds to low-income students, they pocketed the money for themselves. They exploited the tuition remission benefit, which waives tuition for employees enrolled in classes, and university grants for their scheme.
Lets make this clear. This was not a minor mistake. Individuals were “repeatedly awarded” large amounts of money. The highest we have seen was $65,000!
What makes matters worse is the allegation that one of the individuals – Tyrone Hankerson Jr.¹ – flaunted his riches online. He can be seen cloaked in furs, sporting designer bags, and driving luxury cars on various websites. We are just in disbelief that no one thought this was unusual behavior for a college student.
How could this happen?
Like many logical people, you may be asking how could this happen. Over the years, Howard University has had well-known issues with finances. It does not make sense how no one noticed millions disappearing. According to the President’s statement, they plan to adopt more oversight over financial aid.
What happens now?
So far, six employees were fired for”gross misconduct and neglect of duties”. It is possible as more information is discovered, more people will either be fired or resign. Due to the serious allegations, we expect charges to be filed. However, according to multiple reports, Howard University has yet to file any criminal charges with the police.
In regards to Tyrone Hankerson Jr., through his lawyer, he has released a statement to ABC News:
ABC News has received the following statement on behalf of Tyrone Hankerson Jr. pic.twitter.com/hIA8uaIlG3
— Anastasia (@AnastasiaElyseW) March 28, 2018
We can’t even begin to imagine how betrayed Howard University students are feeling this morning. Yes, social media has made some funny jokes about this scandal, but we will never know the extent of the damage. How many students missed school due to money issues?
Sounds like the brass at Howard University needs to do a spring cleaning with regards to policy and staff. We plan to update this post if new information comes out. Bookmark this page and stay tuned.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments.
Video credit: Roland S. Martin | Youtube
¹ We don’t usually name individuals who are not charged; however, this individual publicly released a statement. It is only fair to include his own words on the matter.