Former Emory staffer gets prison for stealing tuition payments

Former Emory staffer gets prison for stealing tuition payments

A former Emory University employee was sentenced to 18 months in prison for stealing more than $300,000 in tuition payments, a federal prosecutor in Atlanta said Thursday.

Brenda Michael, 53, of Atlanta pleaded guilty in April to the embezzlement, Acting U.S. Attorney John Horn said.

“Michael used her position at Emory to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars in just over a year and a half,” Horn said in an email. “ Had the defendant not been exposed by Emory, her deception could have caused even greater damage.”

Michael was an administrative assistant at the university’s Wound Ostomy Center, assisting students with enrolling in classes. Beginning in August 2012 prosecutors said she began directing students to pay their tuition and fees via PayPal to her account. Students believed the account belonged to the university, Horn said. The diverted funds totaled $317,000, he said.

U.S. District Judge Willis B. Hunt sentenced Michael to one year, six months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. She was also ordered to pay $317,923.33 in restitution to Emory.

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