Two students at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) have been indicted by a grand jury for allegedly stealing more than $100,000 from the school over a period of several years.
“Mohamed Osman and Mohamed Gure were presidents of MTSU’s Somali Students Association, according to investigators,” WKRN said. “During their time in office, the Comptroller’s Office said they submitted at least 85 false invoices to MTSU, many of which were for non-existent vendors, to obtain reimbursements totaling $82,200 in student activity fee funds.”
“The Comptroller’s Office said the total stolen amount also included $28,945 that was misappropriated by Gure in 2017 and 2018, while he was serving as a board member for the Muslim Students Association,” the report continued. “Investigators said he submitted 28 fabricated or falsified invoices for expenditures that the association never incurred.”
Both men were indicted on one charge of theft over $60,000, respectively.
Gure was also charged with one count of theft over $10,000, 30 counts of forgery and two counts of criminal simulation, while Osman was charged with 28 counts of forgery and two counts of criminal simulation.
Gure’s bond was set at $60,000 and Osman’s at $50,000.
The investigation was handled by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI).
MTSU president Sidney A. McPhee, in a statement to WKRN, said the allegations were “disappointing,” and promised reforms to make sure a similar situation does not arise:
“These allegations are disappointing and will be forcefully addressed. I want to thank our administrators and auditors who reported their suspicions to the State Comptroller for review. If proven to be true, we will pursue every appropriate legal and campus judicial action to hold those accountable and recoup the funds.
Furthermore, we have begun corrective actions. We are reviewing how the Student Activity Fee Committee considers funding requests. The committee, which is comprised of six students, two faculty members and an administrator who serves as its coordinator, will take additional steps to ensure future monies are used properly and to confirm the activities fulfill their stated purposes. Faculty advisors of student groups will take a greater role in mentoring, and we have tightened requirements on documentation of expenses.
The overwhelming majority of our student groups, and their leaders, are responsible stewards and diligently follow our rules. Student fees have made possible many beneficial educational and cultural enrichment opportunities, such as the competitions of our award-winning Stock Horse Team, our national champion Blue Raider Debate Team and NASA-honored moon buggies built by our Society for Automotive Engineers. These and many other activities add considerable value to our educational experience. We must ensure the wise and prudent use of these resources so that future, and appropriate, enrichment opportunities continue.“
The accused men are said to be from Nashville.
According to a 2018 study, Tennessee has been America’s largest recipient of Somali refugees since 1996, accepting 2,772 in Davidson County alone.
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