Gov. Robert Bentley’s office released a forensic audit report Monday outlining possible fraud, waste and abuse at Alabama State University, which the governor said raises serious questions about the university’s governance.
The audit, which Bentley said he plans to turn over to state and federal authorities for possible criminal prosecution, and other documents point to concerns about family and friends of board members Elton Dean and Marvin Wiggins, and former board member Dr. Lawrence Lemak, receiving work or money through contracts with the school.
Auditors from Forensic Strategic Solutions (FSS), the firm that conducted the forensic investigation, also list numerous instances of questionable accounting practices and detail several impediments they contend ASU officials put in place to stall the investigation. The report indicated there was a total of at least $2.5 million in contracts where there was a conflict of interest or no services delivered for funds received.
“Despite the numerous impediments to the investigation … (Forensic Strategic Solutions) has concluded that based on the documents and information reviewed to date, there is sufficient predication to believe that a jury or a trier of fact could conclude that multiple acts of fraud, waste and/or abuse are occurring and/or have occurred at ASU,” according to the preliminary update from FSS released by Bentley’s office.
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