On Tuesday, two students of Middle Tennessee State University were charged and arrested for a variety of crimes.
According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations, “Rutherford County Grand Jury returned indictments charging Mohamed Gure, , with one count of Theft over $60,000, one count of Theft over $10,000, 30 counts of Forgery, and two counts of Criminal Simulation.
The indictments charged Mohamed Osman, , with one count of Theft over $60,000, 28 counts of Forgery, and two counts of Criminal Simulation.”
Subsequently, Gure and Osman were arrested and booked into the Rutherford County Jail. Osmon’s bond was set at $50,000, and Gure’s bond was set at $60,000.
The $141,000 or so stolen were from an allocation in which each student that is enrolled in seven or more credit hours per semester pays towards. This allocation is called Student Activity Fee, and each student that meets the hourly requirement pays a $40 Student Activity Fee (SAF), $16 of which are allocated to student organizations.
“Official student organizations are able to apply for awards of SAF each semester. The MTSU Student Activity Fee Award Committee (SAFAC) establishes SAF award amounts for eligible organizations. All awarded funds are remitted strictly on a reimbursement basis. The MTSU Student Organizations and Service Office (office) processes requests for SAF reimbursements by reviewing documentation submitted by eligible student organizations,” according to the Comptroller’s Investigative Report.
Gure and Osman were able to misappropriate these funds through the Somali Students Association, which Gure founded in 2017.
The SSA was reimbursed over $85,000 during the selected period it was reviewed. Gure held the position of president of the organization from 2017 to 2019. Afterwards, Osman took over as president in 2019.
However, during his time as president of the SSA, Gure was serving as a board member for the Muslim Students Association, where he fraudulently obtained over $28,000.
For over three years, around 85 invoices were submitted to MTSU for the SSA to obtain reimbursement, and 83 of those invoices were related to reimbursement requests for SAF funds, all of which were fabricated or falsified.
Several invoices that were submitted were for payments to fictitious vendors. The other invoices were allegedly for payments to legitimate vendors, but the payments never made it that far, either being refunded or never made.
According to the investigative report, “Investigators obtained bank records of both the SSA and the MSA and determined that nearly all funds were used to personally benefit Gure and Osman as opposed to MTSU’s Somali and Muslim students.”
During the fall 2020 semester, the Student Organizations and Service Office at MTSU became suspicious of the SSA’s reimbursement requests. This led to the investigation and findings from the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury, which the office stated, “The Student Organizations and Service Office and the SSA and MSA faculty advisors did not adequately review supporting documentation submitted for reimbursement by Gure and Osman.”
That being said, the office believed through failure of MTSU officials to follow certain procedures and MTSU policies, it allowed the students to illegally obtain funds without notice.
Gure and Osman are scheduled to be in Circuit Court on March 25.
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