Shaw University Employee Pleads Guilty in Government Grant Theft Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office August 20, 2013|
RALEIGH - United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that in federal court today Ademola L. Ejire, 53, pled guilty to mail fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1341. U.S. Attorney Walker stated, “Mr. Ejire was entrusted with federal grant funds earmarked for the education and nurturing of young minds in the fields of math and science. Unfortunately, he breached that trust.”
According to the July 23, 2013, criminal information, Ejire was employed at Shaw University as the principal investigator for the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Research Apprenticeship Program (RAP) grant and was responsible for managing the program for which the University was a recepient.
The EPA RAP grant provides funding for a program for specific high school students who have an interest in science and math. Students who meet the academic and attendance criteria in the eighth grade can apply for entry into the program. At the end of the application process, 10 to 12 students are chosen to enter the program in the ninth grade. This is an academic program designed to nurture their science and math backgrounds.
From 2001 to July 2012, Ejire fraudulently represented that his wife was an employee of Shaw University working as the EPA program coordinator for the EPA RAP grant and that his children were participants in the EPA RAP grant by submitting falsified timesheets. The scheme enabled Ejire to fraudulently obtain approximately $470,000.
At sentencing, set for the court’s November 2013 term of court, Ejire faces up to 20 years imprisonment.
"For years, Ademola Ejire funneled grant money intended for high school students into his own accounts. The FBI and our law enforcement partners uncovered his fraudulent scheme and vow to hold those accountable who are trusted to dispense government funding but choose instead to line their own pockets," said John Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the Charlotte Division of the FBI.
“The funds for the Research Apprenticeship Program are intended to provide an opportunity for honest, hard-working students to realize their dream of a higher education," said Inspector in Charge Keith Fixel. “The United States Postal Inspection Service is committed to bringing those to justice who would steal those dreams through schemes involving the use of the U.S. mail.”
The investigation of this case was conducted by United States Environmental Protection Agency-Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the United States Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorney Banumathi Rangarajan is handling the prosecution on behalf of the Eastern District of North Carolina.