Springfield Man Sentenced to 48 Months in Federal Prison for Wire Fraud in Connection with Fraudulent Scheme to Obtain Pandemic Unemployment Benefits
Acting United States Attorney Ellison C. Travis announced that U.S. District Judge Brian A. Jackson sentenced Nathan Haymer, age 43, of Houston, Texas, to 13 months in federal prison following his conviction for federal program theft. The Court further sentenced Haymer to serve three years of supervised release following his term of imprisonment and ordered him to pay restitution in the amount of $78,690.16, as well as a money judgment for the same amount.
According to admissions made as part of his guilty plea, Haymer served as Director of Bands at Southern University A&M College (“Southern University”) and, in that role, was responsible for leading Southern University’s marching band, which performed at Southern University athletic events and a wide variety of other events both within Louisiana and across the United States. Haymer’s duties included making purchases and paying expenses during the band’s trips.
According to the Bill of Information containing the charges, from November 2016 through March 2018, Haymer intentionally misapplied more than $30,000 that Southern University had provided to him to be used for official band expenses. Specifically, according to the Bill, on more than a dozen occasions, Haymer submitted false documents, such as fictitious and forged invoices from purported vendors, knowing that he had not incurred the expenses reflected on the documents.
Acting U.S. Attorney Travis stated, “The conviction and sentence of Mr. Haymer reaffirms our commitment to investigating, arresting, and prosecuting individuals who betray the trust of taxpayers. Great credit goes to our partnership with local authorities for this result. I want to thank our prosecutor, the FBI, the Louisiana Legislative Auditor, and Louisiana State Police for their work on this case.”
“Mr. Haymer willfully stole money that was intended to support the students and their nationally acclaimed band program at Southern University. We hope that this sentencing brings a level of comfort and satisfaction that justice has prevailed for the students and the taxpayers that Mr. Haymer attempted to defraud," said Bryan Vorndran, FBI New Orleans Special Agent in Charge. “I would like to thank the efforts put forth by our partners at the Louisiana Legislative Auditor, Louisiana State Police, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Middle District of Louisiana for helping the FBI disrupt fraud like this.”
“It is disappointing when seemingly trustworthy employees misuse public funds. We will continue to aggressively investigate such complaints to ensure public funds are used for their intended purposes,” states Roger Harris, Director of Investigative Audit for the Legislative Auditor’s Office.
This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Louisiana Legislative Auditor, and Louisiana State Police, and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Alan Stevens, who also serves as Senior Litigation Counsel.