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Ex-BYU finance officer gets April 28 trial date

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PROVO — A spring trial date has been set for an ex-BYU finance officer charged with stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in collection fees from students and the university over several years.

John Davis appeared in 4th District Court Wednesday with his attorney as Judge James Taylor set the trial to begin on April 28.

Davis is charged with seven counts of theft and one count of racketeering, all second-degree felonies.

According to the prosecution, Davis, while working as a finance officer for Brigham Young University's collections department, funneled some $306,000 to a shell corporation, which he and his wife controlled the bank accounts for. According to an internal BYU audit, Davis had been writing checks for collection fees on overdue student accounts from May 1995 to May 2001.

A Utah County investigator later discovered that the supposed collection company, RCM, was founded by Davis' wife, Carol Davis, in 1994 but was involuntarily dissolved by the Utah Department of Commerce after Carol Davis failed to file an annual financial report with the state.

Davis' attorney, Craig Snyder, argues that much of the money funneled to Davis was legitimate, as finder's fees from an outside collection agency the couple ran. Prosecutor David Wayment said Davis never told BYU officials about his outside operation.

During a preliminary hearing in November, Judge James Taylor ordered that similar charges be dismissed against Carol Davis, finding the state lacked adequate evidence that the woman knew what was going on. Taylor did find there was ample evidence for the prosecution to take John Davis to trial.

Wayment said they may consider re-filing charges against Carol Davis at a later time.