Risk Management

Former CFO Faces Time for Embezzlement

Apparently he discovered a loophole in the accounting system he devised, then reprinted checks for his own use.
Stephen TaubJune 29, 2004

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.