Howard University student accused of stealing $429,000 in financial aid, buying fancy clothes

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Whereas most busy school children would possibly spend their days in sweats, one pupil at Howard College was a notable exception: He is accused of stealing $429,000 in monetary help from 2011 to 2017 to purchase fancy garments.

College students of the traditionally black college in Washington, D.C. are protesting on Friday over the incident, in addition to a bigger scandal alleging monetary mishandlings which got here to mild only recently, NBC Washington is reporting.

On March 27, an nameless author by the title of “Veritas 1867” (in a probable nod to the college’s motto and founding 12 months) posted a bombshell report back to Medium claiming that $1 million in monetary help was diverted between 2013 and 2017.

The author recommended that Howard College President Wayne Fredrick and his administration have been conscious of this fraud since Could 2017, and factors out that not less than seven senior-level monetary help officers “have both resigned or been quietly eliminated” since then.

Two people allegedly concerned within the rip-off had been recognized by title: Brian Johnson, former affiliate director of economic help, and regulation pupil Tyrone Hankerson Jr., who purportedly obtained roughly $429,612 in grants and numerous scholarships by means of his undergraduate and graduate years on the college.

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Along with a $65,000 “College Want Primarily based Grant” to a $22,683 “Mock Trial Scholarship,” in addition to a $21,000 “Trustee scholarship,” a $6,000 “research overseas scholarship,” and a $5,645 college grant, the Medium story claims that Hankerson obtained further monetary help awards and large stipends from Workplace of Pupil Life & Actions and the Pupil Employment program.  

If true, such massive grants for a single pupil are weird, as prices to attend the personal establishment in 2017-2018 tuition spherical out at $43,501 between tuition, necessary charges, and room and board, in response to their web site.

“I used to be alerted in December 2016 that there could have been some misappropriation of College-provided monetary help funds,” President Frederick mentioned assertion on March 28, assuring college students that funds embezzled from 2007 to 2016 by college workers didn’t end in a lack of pupil monetary help.

Nevertheless, Howard collegians largely aren’t shopping for it.

“We’re annoyed to see the College’s assertion being despatched to the press and never addressed to college students first,” the scholar affiliation tweeted that day. “This clearly is a betrayal of our belief and will’ve been addressed to the Howard Neighborhood months in the past.”

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In the meantime, Twitter is having a discipline day with Hankerson — or the “Wolf of Sixth Road,” as one Twitter critic calls him — as he additionally ran a trend weblog and was recognized to put on costly garments, Yahoo Way of life experiences. Although he’s since deleted all of his social media accounts, trendy images of Hankerson are rapidly circulating. Some had been fast to mock Hankerson, however others had been sickened by the injustice of the scenario.

“My poor mom, breaking her again to pay all my “again balances” each semester combating to register me into lessons. Entire time y’all stealing cash.. I am disgusted,” one Twitter person wrote.

“The Tyrone Hankerson scenario upsets me to the core bc there was MANY instances throughout my dealings w/ Howard I sat up at evening & cried HARD bc monetary help performed w/ my livelihood,” one other Howard Regulation alumni wrote. “But, dude bought a clean $430Ok w/o being observed. I would like reparations.”

Hankerson denied the allegations in opposition to him by means of his lawyer with a press release to ABC Information.

“When the reality comes out, it is going to be confirmed that I adopted all guidelines and protocol with the approval of the, then, monetary help officers in any grants, scholarships or awards given to me as a pupil who attended class all 12 months spherical and traveled overseas,” the assertion mentioned. “[T]he story that was posted this morning fails to elucidate the complete scope of my 7-year expertise at Howard College and is most deceptive if taken out of context.”

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As Blavity notes, if the allegations are true, Hankerson was brazen to slam the student-loan debt disaster just a few years in the past when he was a graduating senior. In an April 2015 interview, Hankerson mentioned that his work-study place in Howard’s Workplace of Monetary Help has given him perception to a bigger nationwide difficulty. 

“For a lot of of my classmates, their households merely shouldn’t have the monetary assets to pay for school,” he mentioned at a pupil debt discussion board convened by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings. “What I’ve witnessed in my function are decided college students who attempt their hardest to discover a means by means of.”

“They search excessive and low for scholarships, they take lessons over the summer time at cheaper charges to allow them to graduate on time, they take semesters off, they usually come again, and typically, when all has failed them, they’re left with no choice however to surrender,” he mentioned on the time.

Janine Puhak is an editor for Fox Information Way of life. Comply with her on Twitter at @JaninePuhak

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