Shaw University Employee Sentenced for Government Grant Theft Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 27, 2013|
RALEIGH—United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that in federal court United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle sentenced ADEMOLA L. EJIRE, 53, to 33 months’ imprisonment followed by two years’ supervised release. The court also imposed restitution in the amount of $470,192.
A criminal information was filed on July 23, 2013, charging mail fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1341. On August 20, 2013, EJIRE pled guilty to the charge.
According to the 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 receipient.
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 background.
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 $444,350.74.
Michael A. Hill, Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Office, Office of the Inspector General, Environmental Protection Agency stated, “The misappropriation of the funds provided for the Research Apprenticeship Program not only violated the trust of the American taxpayer, it deprived deserving students of an opportunity to receive all of the benefits of the program. The EPA Office of Inspector General will continue to aggressively pursue the misdeeds of those inclined to handle such responsibilities in a deceptive manner.“
"Ademola Ejire was trusted to dispense government funds for a North Carolina university, but he chose to betray that trust. These types of fraudulent schemes cost everyone and that’s why the FBI encourages anyone who may suspect public corruption is occurring to report their suspicions to us immediately,” said John Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in North Carolina.
The investigation of this case was conducted by United States Environmental Protection-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.