Indictments handed down in Felner case

By on October 23, 2008

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David Huber, U.S. Attorney for the West District of Kentucky, announced a press conference today that former University of Louisville College of Education and Human Development Dean Robert Felner is being indicted on charges of money laundering conspiracy, tax evasion and mail program fraud. An associate of Felner from the University of Rhode Island, Thomas Schroeder of Illinois, was also indicted.

The 45 page indictment made by a Louisville grand jury reads that Felner and Schroeder embezzled an estimated $1.7 million from Rhode Island and approximately $576,000 from U of L. Huber said in a news release that Felner also owes $500,000 in federal taxes and failed to report $1.6 million in income from 2002-2007.

The indictment comes after months of media scrutiny started when the case was disclosed back in June. Felner has also been accused of improperly awarding a Ph.D. to former U of L student John Deasy as well as abusing the faculty grievance process.

U of L President James Ramsey issued a statement today regarding the announcement of the indictments. He was quick to emphasize that the university brought the Felner matter to the attention of authorities and also the steps the university has taken internally to improve its policies and procedures. Of these, Ramsey mentioned an audit of the CEHD’s finances as well as an examination of the grant process and the faculty grievance procedure.

“We believe we have taken the necessary steps to address the issues that have surfaced and to begin the healing process on campus and in the community,” Ramsey said in the statement. “We have been supported by our faculty, employees, students, donors, retirees and the many friends of the university.”

Ramsey also emphasized the university’s cooperation with federal authorities in the investigation, and his faith that justice will be done.

“We have confidence that the judicial system will take the next step and reach a verdict based on the evidence,” Ramsey said.

Stay posted to the Louisville Cardinal for further updates on the investigation.

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