The Chicago Syndicate: Fraternities And Sororities at @LehighU Reputedly Defrauded in Conspiracy Case

Friday, April 08, 2016

Fraternities And Sororities at @LehighU Reputedly Defrauded in Conspiracy Case

An indictment was filed charging Albert Fisher, 76, of Quakertown, PA, with conspiring to defraud fraternities, sororities and fraternity alumni associations at Lehigh University, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger.  The defendant is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of wire fraud, and five counts of subscribing to false tax returns.

Fisher and Person #1 operated Fraternity Management Association (“FMA”), located in Bethlehem, PA, and allegedly created a fictitious consulting company, “Fisher and Associates,” which had FMA as its sole client.  During the period charged, Person #1 was the Executive Director of FMA while Fisher was employed by FMA as both a full-time employee and as an independent contractor for Fisher and Associates.  According to the indictment, between 2009 and 2013, Fisher and FMA’s Executive Director conspired to take money, as payment for future services, that was intended to pay for the operations and upkeep of the fraternities and sororities which included food services and the financial management of expenses. Instead of paying for future services, Fisher and the Executive Director allegedly misappropriated at least $1,461,777.96 in funds from FMA and the victim fraternities which he and the Executive Director used for their own personal purposes, including purchases of goods and services, vacation expenses, home furnishings, and designer clothing.  Fisher allegedly lied to the victims about the money that was entrusted to FMA.  When FMA ceased operations during the Spring of 2014, Fisher and the Executive Director caused an additional $990,157.41 in expenses for the fraternities, sororities and other victims, including Lehigh University, when the victims had to pay for operations and upkeep of the fraternities.

It is further alleged that Fisher filed tax returns for tax years 2009 to 2013 which failed to report $614,398 in income, which included the defendant’s personal expenses that were paid by FMA and consulting fees authorized by the Executive Director and paid on behalf of FMA.  

If convicted, Fisher faces a maximum possible sentence of 50 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release, restitution, a possible fine, and a $700 special assessment.

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