The College Post
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Former Employee Admits to Stealing Over $500,000 From Unity College

The United States Attorney’s Office in Maine revealed that a former Unity College employee pleaded guilty to wire fraud, stealing over half a million dollars from the school.

Beth Bing, 49, of Waterville confessed last week she made unauthorized purchases on her Unity College credit card and used fraudulent telephone and email communications.

College officials revealed that Bing worked in finance for the college and racked up transactions totaling $516,834. Her responsibilities included paying the college’s bills and validating corporate credit card purchases.

Between December 2014 and October 2019, Bing “made personal purchases and payments, both over the internet and in point of sale transactions” without the knowledge or approval of Unity College officials.

Bing faces up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine. Her sentence will be handed down after the US Probation Office completes a pre-sentencing investigation report.

Personal Gain

Bing, formerly Beth Safford, was given a corporate card by the university for official purposes. While all cards were paid through Unity College’s operating account at the Bangor Savings Bank, each card had an individual card number as well as the name of the employee or corporate office to which it was issued.

After executing a search warrant at Bing’s home, law enforcement officers found several fraudulently purchased items. Court documents reveal that in August 2018, Bing used the college’s credit card to purchase goods from Amazon totaling $150.84, including a wedding dress.

She also made purchases at Cigaret Shopper on 87 Armory Road in Waterville and used the card to get a $4,000 cash advance. 

Unity College officials said on Tuesday they were grateful “to the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the diligent investigation of this matter and swift resolution of the criminal process upon our request.”

Wire Fraud

This year, several university employees have been investigated and charged for wire fraud. In July, 35-year-old Doemini Mosley, a former top director at the Howard University Bursar’s Office, was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $140,000 from the university.

Five months earlier, Anming Hu, an Associate Professor at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, was charged with three counts of wire fraud and three counts of making false statements. Hu committed fraud by hiding his relationship with a Chinese university while receiving funding from NASA.

A third employee, 63-year-old University of Arkansas Professor Simon Saw-Teong Ang was charged with 42 counts of wire fraud and two counts of passport fraud in July. 

The last two incidents are related to American efforts to protect the US research and development sector against Chinese influence.