Investigation shows Scott Eaton defrauded NKU of $311,215 - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

NKU: Old AD defrauded university of $311k

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HIGHLAND HEIGHTS (FOX19) -

We are learning more details about the firing of NKU's Athletic Director Scott Eaton. Eaton was fired in March of this year for violating the university's code of conduct.

The exact scope of the alleged financial misconduct was unknown until the investigation was complete.

A letter that was sent to the university's board of regents was shared with FOX19 on Thursday and details how the misconduct escaped the university's radar for six years.

In the letter, NKU President Geoffrey S. Mearns states that third party accountants were called in to dig into the books.

According to the letter, the bulk of the money missing came from the purchase of $262,106 in Kroger gift cards with a university credit card that were then used for personal use.

The accountants also found that Eaton misused another $49,000 by purchasing gift cards at other stores to use for personal use, returning items for store credit, falsifying receipts and using university printing and mailing services to support his activities in the Massachusetts Basketball Coaches Association.

The accountants concluded that Eaton's fraudulent conduct was not caught earlier because, "he manipulated other employees to gain their trust and then he exploited their misplaced trust. Simply put, Eaton deliberately developed multiple ways to misappropriate University funds."

The university is examining the accountants' recommendations for cultural and structural changes that will prevent future misconduct.

Eaton's attorney, Ben Dusing, spoke to the media Thursday regarding NKU's failure to recognize in the report that Eaton came forward with the information and was cooperating with the investigation.

"He done wrong and he's said he's sorry, period. Now, moving forward and trying to make it right, he wishes he could write a check for the full amount and make everybody whole tomorrow; he can't do that," Dusing stated about his client. "So, what can he do? He can meet with auditors, he can meet with investigators. He can try and save the university a bunch of money to discover that which he's willing to walk in and tell them."

School officials say they plan to pursue legal action to get the alleged mishandled funds back, plus damages.

Ken Bothof was named NKU's new AD in April of 2013.

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