- A former chief financial officer of Wayland Baptist University in Texas has pled guilty to first-degree felony theft and been sentenced to five years in state prison.
- The ex-CFO, James Smith, was also ordered to pay $1.3 million in restitution to the university.
- Smith was fired in April 2013 following an internal investigation by university officials into possible financial mismanagement.
According to Wayland Baptist University, the school’s financial soundness has not been significantly affected. Smith had served as CFO since 2001. Wayland is also seeking more than $500,000 in a civil lawsuit it has pending against Smith and his wife Barbara, accusing him of embezzlement and falsifying records. Lezlie Hukill, the current CFO and former controller for the university, had conducted a review with Bertha Sistrunk, the general account manager, that first brought Smith under suspicion. The review uncovered improper payments, checks with improper endorsements, and payments to credit card companies that weren’t associated with the university.