Authorities have arrested and indicted a former Middle Tennessee State University international recruiter charged with stealing nearly $40,000 from the school.
This, according to a press release that Tennessee Comptrollers released Tuesday.
The Rutherford County Grand Jury indicted that former recruiter, Aryo Hasnugung, in May on one count of theft over $10,000, one count of forgery, one count of criminal simulation, and one count of official misconduct, according to a press release.
Authorities arrested Hasnugung this month, the press release went on to say.
A person by that name who said he lives in Nashville did not return The Tennessee Star’s request for comment via Facebook Tuesday.
“Investigators determined that Hasnugung, who traveled extensively to other countries to recruit students, stole at least $39,750 from MTSU by fabricating or altering invoices that he used to justify payments he received for travel advances and/or travel reimbursements,” the press release said.
MTSU officials started investigating after they felt suspicious about Hasnugung’s travel invoices. They later confirmed that at least 35 invoices he submitted were not authentic, the press release said.
“Furthermore, it was determined that some of the invoices were altered on Hasnugung’s MTSU computer,” according to the press release.
“Investigators are also questioning an additional $5,010 in reimbursements received by Hasnugung because of the supporting documentation. Although these receipts and invoices do not appear to be legitimate, investigators were unable to confirm with the related vendors that they were fraudulent.”
Hasnugung told members of MTSU Audit and Consulting Services he submitted at least six fraudulent invoices. MTSU officials terminated his employment in 2016, the press release said.
MTSU spokesman Jimmy Hart told The Star in an emailed statement Tuesday that school officials now have stricter requirements and approvals for its international recruiter.
“All proposed trips by the international recruiter are personally reviewed in advance by the vice provost for international affairs to ensure they are in line with our priorities,” Hart wrote.
“Travel claims by the international recruiter now undergo line-by-line scrutiny by the vice provost before they are submitted to our Business and Finance Division for review and potential reimbursement. Also, cash advances are under more scrutiny and justification is needed for expenses that need to be paid with cash.”
School officials hired Hasnugung 2012, Hart added.
As The Star reported last fall, MTSU pays for all efforts to recruit international students from the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America.
The International Affairs allocated recruitment budget funds those recruiting trips.
As The Star also reported, more and more international students attend universities in Tennessee. They take the knowledge and the skills they acquire here and apply them back on their home turf.
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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Aryo Hasnugung” by KIC UnivAssist. Background Photo “Middle Tennessee State University” by Jacob bloodaxe. CC BY-SA 4.0.