JCSU student claims seniors won't graduate due to fraud allegations

JCSU student claims seniors won't graduate due to fraud allegations
(Source: Dedrick Russell | WBTV)
(Source: Dedrick Russell | WBTV)

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) says it has uncovered evidence of more than 300 fraudulent transactions involving possible students and Perkins Management Services. JCSU's Judicial Affairs will be conducting an investigation.

The university says money was illegally added to students' Flex Food Cards, which allow students to purchase food from establishments on campus.

Some students say they had no idea money was being added to their card and claim only staff members with food services could make that transaction.  One student, who doesn't wish to be identified, told WBTV that he knows people who owe as little as $20 to thousands of dollars. The male student says some of these students are scrambling to find how to pay the debt off.

JCSU says it is disappointed in this behavior and says it will not be tolerated.

"Students found to have engaged in the fraud will face judicial review," JCSU President Dr. Ron Carter said.

Students said JCSU has already begun handing out judgments against students before the judicial review.

"Makes me feel a bit upset for me to come to an institution of higher learning and I am cast as a criminal," an anonymous student told WBTV.

That student admits he owes the school a couple of hundred dollars, but claims he didn't know money was added to his account.  The student argues this is not his fault.

JCSU says all students involved have been contacted. Students believe JCSU should have caught this mistake early on instead of letting the incident linger. Students say JCSU is treating them unfairly.

"People have been relieved of their RA (Residence Assistant) positions," the student said. "People have been revoked of their titles - SGA (Student Government Association), Royal Court. People have been restricted from work study. People have been cast out based of mere allegations."

The student claims that seniors involved will be greatly impacted and won't be able to graduate Sunday. He says he knows at least 25 seniors who are involved and claims that JCSU is not letting them walk across the stage.

"If you do not pay the loan or the amount that was loaded onto your card for whatever reason due to the negligence of the food franchise, you will not graduate," the student said. "You will not validate and you will not be able to view nor receive your transcript to leave the institution."

JCSU says the handbook states there are some restrictions on students while they are being investigated.

"It's like a slap in the face," the student said. "People do make mistakes, but at least give someone time - people time to get their just due judgement."

Carter, the president of JCSU, released this statement Friday afternoon:

Johnson C. Smith University has uncovered evidence of fraudulent transactions on student flex cards that may involve students and Perkins Management Services staff. Flex cards hold funds that students may use to purchase food at dining establishments on campus, including Burger King, Red Mango and Lorraine's Café. Recently, a senior member of Perkins Management Services staff reviewed daily transactions of flex card use and noted more than 300 transactions that appear to be fraudulent activity.

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