190828_GMA_GreekLifeOffice

The Greek Life Office is located on the first floor of the Tate Student Center on the University of Georgia’s campus in Athens, Georgia. The university issued a statement on Aug. 26, 2019 announcing an investigation into the misappropriation of funds from student organizations and updated the statement on Aug. 27 to reveal that the “criminal activity” had been traced back to one now-deceased university employee. (Photo/Gabriella Audi, www.gabbyaudi10.wixsite.com/mysite-1)

According to a University of Georgia Police Department investigation, a now-deceased UGA Greek Life Office administrative assistant allegedly stole over $1.3 million from accounts within the Greek Life Office from 2009 to June 2019.

In a statement, UGA spokesperson Greg Trevor said the “criminal activity and financial benefit” was limited to the now-deceased employee. 

Former UGA Director of Greek Life Claudia Shamp and former Assistant Director of Greek Life and Panhellenic Council Advisor Elizabeth Pittard “failed to provide oversight” of financial activities in the UGA Greek Life Office “for an extended period of time,” according to the UGA Police Department and investigative reports by the UGA Internal Auditing Division obtained by The Red & Black.

In an Aug. 1 memorandum to UGA Vice President for Student Affairs Victor K. Wilson, IAD Director Matthew Whitley recommended Shamp be terminated while Pittard either be terminated or reassigned outside of Greek Life.

“The [UGA Triage] Committee has determined that Ms. Schamp and Ms. Pittard failed to apply proper due diligence and oversight, as required by their roles, which resulted in an environment that allowed for the misappropriation of funds without being detected for an extended period,” Whitley wrote in the memorandum.

Shamp retired effective immediately on Aug. 23, and Pittard resigned effective immediately the same day, according to an email sent to UGA Sorority Advisers that day.

According to IAD documents, Shamp had “a fiduciary responsibility to ensure the safeguarding of all funds managed by GLO and to ensure that employees are acting in the best Interests of the University, GLO, and the organizations that fall under its purview.”

The funds were stolen from student organizations within the GLO, including the UGA Panhellenic Council, the UGA Interfraternity Council and UGA Miracle.

The employee who committed the thefts "had almost complete control over all financial activity" without "oversight or independent review of these activities" in the Greek Life Office, according to an IAD malfeasance report.

The Red & Black is currently reviewing documents related to this story that were obtained through an open records request and will continue to provide updates.

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