clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

UM OFFICIAL ADMITS FRAUD

A fired University of Miami official says he faked hundreds of financial-aid forms to help needy students for more than a decade, but only began charging kickbacks in the past two years to feed a cocaine habit.

Former associate academic coordinator Tony Russell said Saturday he charged $85 to Miami students, mostly football players, to falsify financial aid applications so he could support his addiction. The 43-year-old Russell, under investigation by the FBI, made the admissions in a lengthy interview at his home with a selected group of reporters.He was at Miami for two years before being fired in May, but he said he falsified as many as 60 applications a year for at least 12 years, meaning 700 or more students from around the nation might have gotten money for which they should not have qualified.

Russell said he used the federally funded Pell Grant, designed to help needy students, to get the students between $250 to $2,400 per year.