The Sky Is the Limit

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The Sky Is the Limit

ACC 682
05/13/13

This case takes place at Hardwell University and is a great example of the problems that can arise from someone given too much power. Dr. Reginald Lear took over as the School’s president and was offered a compensation package, which ranked highly for college presidents exceeding $700,000. This fraud was much different in how it was discovered, as it was not an anonymous phone call or an auditor. The fraud was initially uncovered by a local news outlet who questioned Dr. Lear’s desire to purchase a new university airplane. The local media expressed concern about such a large investment during a time of budget cuts, layoffs, and tuition increases. They filed an open records request for copies of flight logs to determine if the president could justify spending an estimated $4 million on the plane. This ultimately led to them questioning many of his trips, including those to Alabama where he attended a black-tie event with the president there. After this was uncovered and questionable expenditures on the credit card were found the governor and chairman of the board appointed a special committee to investigate these allegations.

After the investigation began Dr. Lear offered to reimburse the university several thousand dollars for numerous private and commercial flights, regardless of the intentions. He felt this would clear the air and reduce further questioning. This being an obvious sign of him knowing he had abused his power somehow and was now trying to make it right. Any investigator would immediately see this as a red flag as you generally would not see someone pay for extra business related flights. In the end this fraud only took about a month to uncover, as it was not hidden very well. Travel expenses exceeded $23,000, University credit card had over $5,000 of charges, over $500,000 in unnecessary residence renovations, and two no bid contracts to friends over $300,000. After all this was...
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