The former chief financial officer of the University of Florida Foundation pleaded no contest to charges that he wrote himself five checks worth $850,000 from foundation accounts, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Kenneth Hillier, who had worked for the foundation for 16 years and had devised the foundation’s accounting system, apparently found a loophole in the system that enabled him to reprint checks for his own use. He was fired last year, reported the Sun-Sentinel, after a co-worker discovered one of the checks.
The 57-year-old Hillier was charged with four counts of first-degree grand theft over $100,000 and one count of second-degree grand theft over $20,000, said the paper. By pleading no contest, he faces up to 135 years in prison and a $50,000 fine when he is sentenced July 27.
The reality, reported the Sun-Sentinel, is that prosecutors are expected to seek a sentence of more than eight years in prison, a lengthy probation, and reimbursement of the foundation.
What might that reimbursement add up to? Paul Robell, a University of Florida vice president, told the school’s board of trustees that Hillier may have helped himself to more than $1.2 million since 1994, according to the paper.