News and Press Releases

Former Senior Program Coordinator For University Of Louisville Equine Industry Program Pleads Guilty To Wire Fraud And Money Laundering

– Embezzled $463,636.35

April 2, 2012

LOUISVILLE, KY – A former employee of the University of Louisville College of Business Equine Industry Program has pled guilty in U.S. District Court today, to charges of wire fraud and money laundering announced David J. Hale, United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky.

Alisha Ward, age 41, of Louisville, Kentucky, while working as a Senior Program Coordinator for the University of Louisville College of Business Equine Industry Program (UofL-EIP) devised a scheme and embezzled $463,636.35 from her employer.

“This was a serious crime involving the theft of public funds from a public university,” stated U.S. Attorney Hale. “We are committed to prosecuting this type of crime and seeking restitution for the victim.”

According to the plea agreement, from January 2007 through February 2011the defendant used her position to fraudulently obtain funds from the Equine Riding and Racing Club student account and to fraudulently use the UofL-EIP procurement card. It is further alleged that Ward fraudulently requested disbursements from UofL-EIP and made fraudulent requests for requisitions from UofL-EIP. During the course of this scheme Ward caused interstate wire communications to be transmitted to and from Louisville, Kentucky, to various financial accounts, including Paypal accounts, outside of Kentucky.

It is further alleged that Ward knowingly engaged in monetary transactions with a financial institution in which she did deposit and withdraw criminally derived property of a value greater than $10,000. According to the Federal Information on March 26, 2010 Ward diverted a check from Kentucky Commonwealth to the Equine Riding and Racing Club (ERRC) student account. On January 22, 2009 and August 2, 2010 Ward deposited two UofL ERRC funding checks in to the ERRC student account. On November 8, 2010 and December 15, 2010 Ward wrote two UofL checks, totaling $40,000 to Myatt Remodeling in violation of 18 U.S.C§ 1957 (money laundering).

At the time of sentencing, the United States will agree that a sentence of 37 months be the appropriate disposition of this case and that Ward would be required to pay restitution to the University of Louisville in the amount of $461,889.47 and would be required to a special assessment in the amount of $600 to the U.S. District Court Clerk.

However, U.S. Judge Jennifer Coffman could impose a maximum sentence of 70 years in prison, a fine of $1,500,000 and a three year period of supervised release. Ward is scheduled for sentencing In U.S. District Court, in Louisville, before U.S. Judge Coffman on July 9, 2012 at 11 a.m. She was released on a $25,000 unsecured bond.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Bryan Calhoun and is being investigated by the University of Louisville Department of Public Safety, United States Secret Service, IRS - Criminal Investigation Division and the United States Postal Inspection Service.

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