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Federal prosecutors now handling criminal case against former SU band director following WBRZ reports

4 years 3 months 4 weeks ago Wednesday, August 07 2019 Aug 7, 2019 August 07, 2019 11:00 PM August 07, 2019 in News
Source: WBRZ

UPDATE: The Department of Justice announced Friday that Nathan Haymer will face a charge of federal program theft. You can read the full report here: https://www.wbrz.com/news/former-southern-university-band-director-facing-federal-charges-after-nakamoto-investigation


BATON ROUGE- The WBRZ Investigative Unit confirmed Thursday that federal prosecutors will be taking the case involving former Southern University Band Director Nathan Haymer. Haymer is accused of misappropriating nearly $300,000 during his time as band director.

He spent some of that money on himself, auditors have found in the wake of WBRZ reports. 

District Attorney Hillar Moore told WBRZ he had meetings with the State Legislative Auditor and federal prosecutors. Moore said federal prosecutors expressed an interest in the case and referred additional quesitons to federal authorities.   

U.S. Attorney Brandon Fremin cited DOJ policy and said he can not confirm or deny even the existence of an investigation.

Haymer was the focus of multiple WBRZ Investigative Unit reports that showed he was taking money intended for the band and depositing it in his personal accounts. Following reports on TV, the Louisiana Legislative Auditor conducted an investigation and found what the investigative journalism team had uncovered.  

According to the audit, in 2014 Haymer contracted a third party, Active Network, LLC., to collect fees from participants in the SU Summer Band and Dance Team Camp. However, he did not have the authority from the university to do so. In August 2015, Haymer requested that Active stop sending those fees to the SU System Foundation and start sending all funds to him directly. From August 2015 through May 2018, Active made 35 wire transfers to Haymer's personal accounts. In total, $293,317 was sent to Haymer from Active.

The former band director is also accused of using false invoices to obtain $46,719 in reimbursement for money he did not spend. Haymer was given a travel advance by Southern to help pay for the Human Jukebox's meals on the road. Upon investigating, the auditors found dozens of false invoices filed by Haymer within that time frame including $7,400 for food in connection to the band's participation in the Krewe of Nyx parade. The SU System Foundation paid Haymer $44,816 without providing a legitimate receipt.

Southern University released a statement last month regarding the audit. Leaders at the university pledged to get every last dollar back.

"The university will continue to work with law enforcement and consult with counsel in order to recoup any funds that were diverted from the university," the statement said.

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