The Emory Police Department (EPD) criminal investigation into the Dooley’s Week 2017 concert booking scam has been turned over to federal investigators, according to EPD Sgt. Alex Mawson.
The Wheel reported July 2017 that students had lost $37,500 to a fraudulent third-party booking agency. After publication of the article, EPD launched a criminal investigation into the incident.
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of the Inspector General (ED-OIG) is reviewing the case because the ED-OIG has more resources than EPD, Mawson wrote in a Jan. 30 email to the Wheel.
“There have been cases like this on other campuses,” Mawson wrote. “The Department of Education has both the resources and the legal jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute these crimes at the federal level.”
Global Talent Agency, the fraudulent booking agency, also allegedly swindled Ball State University (BSU) (Ind.) in 2016 out of more than $10,000.
Mawson added that “federal funds may have comprised a portion of the money that was stolen in this case” and pointed to ED-OIG’s website, which states that the agency identifies “fraud, waste, abuse and criminal activity involving [Department of Education] funds.”
Mawson wrote he did not know when EPD sent the case information to ED-OIG.
ED-OIG Public Affairs Liaison Catherine Grant declined to confirm or deny if there is a pending investigation.
“[ED-OIG] does not generally confirm nor deny investigative activity, nor do we confirm whether or not we have received an allegation or complaint … to protect and maintain the integrity of any possible OIG effort,” Grant wrote.
The Wheel filed a public records request with ED-OIG Jan. 27 for records involving Emory University, but the agency did not respond by press time.
The EPD case remains open in case any new information or leads arise, Mawson wrote in a Jan. 22 email to the Wheel.
Emory has not reimbursed the student fund for the amount the University sent to Global Talent Agency. Associate Vice President for Community Suzanne Onorato told the Wheel in March 2017 that if the money is recovered it would go back to students.