South Carolina Attorney Charged with Fraud and Money Laundering in UA Sorority House Furnishing Scheme
BIRMINGHAM -- Federal authorities today arrested a South Carolina attorney on fraud and money laundering charges as part of a scheme that involved submitting false invoices for furnishings and equipment for a University of Alabama sorority house and receiving payment without providing the furnishings and equipment, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, U.S. Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Craig Caldwell, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service Inspector in Charge Keith Morris.
An eight-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury last week charges JENNIFER ELIZABETH MEEHAN, 38, with wire fraud, bank fraud and money laundering. According to the indictment filed in U.S. District Court, Meehan used interstate electronic communication to submit fraudulent invoices totaling about $95,000 to Greek Resource Services, a contract company that handles the finances for fraternities and sororities at UA. Meehan was in charge of furnishing the newly constructed Gamma Phi Beta sorority house between September 2013 and March 2015.
The indictment also charges Meehan with executing a bank fraud scheme involving about $375,000, in which Meehan opened an account at First Citizens Bank under a fraudulent business name and then submitted additional fraudulent invoices to Greek Resource Services. GRS then gave Meehan two checks totaling about $375,000, which she deposited into the newly opened First Citizens account.
Meehan, a former member of Gamma Phi Beta at Alabama, was acting in her position as president of the House Corporation Board of the Epsilon Lambda Chapter of Gamma Phi Beta Sorority in an unpaid, volunteer capacity during the course of the fraud, according to the indictment.
Meehan is charged with money laundering for, on four separate occasions, wiring more than $10,000 gained through the bank and wire fraud into accounts she owned.
Meehan could face a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted of the mail fraud.
The U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney David H. Estes is prosecuting.
The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.