Story by Noah McLane
Three men from Middle Tennessee State University Campus Outreach Ministry were indicted for attempting to steal nearly $5,000 from MTSU’s student activity fund and for falsifying bank statements, announced the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office on Wednesday, August 23.
Investigators accused campus director John Thomas “JT” Farmer, campus minister Greg McCall and MTSU’s former student chapter president Austin “Audy” Smothers of collaborating to submit a false reimbursement request in an attempt to steal $4,700 in student activity fees from the university, according to the comptroller’s office.
According to the comptroller’s investigative report, Campus Outreach at MTSU submitted an application for reimbursement for its annual NYC event in September 2020.
Despite the event’s cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, McCall still attempted to be reimbursed for $4,700 in registration fees.
MTSU asked McCall to provide documentation of the purchase multiple times. Eventually, the university received a falsified receipt which contained misspellings and apparent credit card information and a different date.
The receipt was submitted by Smothers but all three men are accused of collaborating on it, according to the investigative report.
The men are also accused of conspiring to provide false financial information to the university. On May 15, 2021, Campus Outreach at MTSU submitted a financial report form to the university indicating it had $95 in its bank account. However, bank statements showed the actual bank account balance on May 15, 2021 was $59,727.37.
McPhee and the university have confirmed that the requested funds were not reimbursed to Campus Outreach Ministries.
The men face charges of attempted theft of property over $2,500, one count of forgery, one count of criminal simulation and one count of false entries in a governmental record.
Noah McLane is the geopolitical and environmental reporter for MTSU Sidelines.
To contact News Editor Kailee Shores, Assistant News Editor Alyssa Williams and Assistant News Editor Zoe Naylor, email email@example.com.
For more news, visit www.mtsusidelines.com, or follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines or on Twitter and Instagram at @mtsusidelines.