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Georgia Tech investigates reports of credit card fraud

8:33 PM, Nov 21, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- Georgia Tech has released a 20 page audit, raising red flags about how $1.5 million in taxpayer money may have been spent.

The same day it announced two employees named in the report, James Fraley and Alan Golivesky, were no longer employed at the Institute. Another employee, Stephen Blalock, is on administrative leave. All three worked in the Research Institute.

Auditors say all of the questionable charges occurred using the Institute's procurement cards, or P-cards, basically credit cards for school expenses.

Auditors say they found doctored and duplicate invoices and payments for services that seemed to go to GA Tech employees, not businesses.

There is even one, auditors, say went to a convicted felon incarcerated for meth production.

The institute has handed its report to the Attorney Generals office requesting a criminal investigation. Auditors say too many high dollar charges are "unaccounted for, unsupportable for sponsored research and factually questionable" and that "there is high potential for funds to have been transferred to Mr. Fraley's personal account."

The school also accused Fraley of ordering items and doctoring the invoices to hide that they were sent to his house, not the lab. Examples included solar panels and $5,000 in hunting equipment.

In 2007-2008 the Institute says 13 employees were dismissed for using those cards to spend $558,000 in personal items, ranging from car repairs to jet skis.

WXIA was tipped off to the latest investigation when a staff meeting at the school's Enterprise Innovation Institute, was posted online.

Vice President Stephen Fleming asked his staff how many of them were around during the scandal.

"We had some bad actors on campus who were using their P-cards to do bad things as in buying jet skis for personal use, really stupid stuff," said Fleming.

He then goes on to tell those in attendance that,"it looks like it may have started again. Not here, not in the building, not on this side of campus. But it looks like there was a unit on campus that's had some, pattern of P-card abuse."

He finished the brief two minute discussion on the topic saying,"This is something the state trusts us with guys and we've got to take it seriously. There have been a couple of people fired and there will probably be more."

In 2008, Donna Gamble pleaded guilty to spending $316,000 on Auburn University football tickets, computers, digital cameras, televisions, and yes.. a jet ski.

In 2009, Michelle Harris was sentenced to 10 years behind bars for spending $170,000 on a diamond ring and wedding expenses.

WXIA

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