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Howard University Students Occupy Building over Embezzlement Scandal

Allegations that huge sums were misappropriated from 1MDB through money-laundering triggered a corruption scandal that has embroiled Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who founded the fund. He has consistently denied any wrongdoing.
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Students at the historically black Howard University in Washington, D.C., occupied a campus building last week as a result of a recently uncovered administration embezzlement scandal.

Howard University protested throughout the day last Thursday over a recently uncovered embezzlement scandal that involved the misuse of financial aid funds. Students claimed that they would occupy a Howard administrative building until university President Wayne A.I. Frederick resigned.

Last week, six Howard employees were fired for their alleged involvement in the scandal. An anonymous blog post published last week accused the university of abusing around $1 million in funds over the past 10 years. The anonymous blogger claimed that the information was uncovered by a student employed by the financial aid office.

In a published statement, Frederick confirmed the anonymous blogger’s report.

The investigation found that from 2007 to 2016, University grants were given to some University employees who also received tuition remission. The audit revealed that the combination of University grants and tuition remission exceeded the total cost of attendance. As a result, some individuals received inappropriate refunds. Note that University grants are institutional funds used to help support students with student charges. They are not federal funds or donor directed funds.

“An investigation of individual employee actions was completed in September 2017 and as a result, six employees have been fired for gross misconduct and neglect of duties. We will refer this matter for criminal prosecution, as appropriate,” Frederick added.

Some Howard students had been concerned over potential wrongdoing in the financial aid office. Student Juan McFarland said that students receiving financial aid often faced issues.

″We’ve had suspicions about mishandling of funds based on how many people always never received their financial aid on time,” McFarland said, “and also based on how many fees were added to our accounts out of nowhere.”

At one point during the Thursday protest, the student protesters began singing Rihanna’s song, “B*tch Better Have My Money.” After coming across a video of the protest, Rihanna tweeted out in support of the students.

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