OIG: Office of Inspector General
   Current Section

Investigative Reports

US Department of Justice

Gregory R. Miller
United States Attorney
Northern District of Florida
For more information contact:
Supervisory AUSA Karen E. Rhew
(850) 942-8430

June 18, 2008

Former FAMU Director Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy and Theft from Federal Programs Charges

PANAMA CITY — Gregory R. Miller, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, announced that Patricia Walker McGill, the former director of the Institute on Urban Policy and Commerce at the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) pled guilty today to one count of conspiracy to commit theft from Federal programs and seven counts of theft from Federal programs relating to educational grants.

McGill, age 60, of Tallahassee, Florida, entered her guilty pleas during the third day of her jury trial in United States District Court in Panama City, Florida. During the first two days of trial, a jury heard testimony from 21 witnesses and received 255 exhibits in evidence. The testimony at trial indicated that McGill stole funds provided by the United States Department of Education through the Florida Department of Education for educational literacy grants provided to FAMU for Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Union and Washington counties. She used these literacy grant monies to pay individuals and entities for goods and services not related to or authorized by the educational grants. She also fraudulently took grant monies from the 21st Century educational grant in Franklin County, claiming these monies as payment for drafting and submitting the grant application, despite being advised that no grant monies could be expended for this purpose. McGill used educational grant monies in Calhoun and Franklin Counties to pay Institute and State of Florida employees for work unrelated to the educational grants, including overtime and bonuses. McGill also required certain educational grant recipients to kick back portions of the grant monies to her and to disguise these monies as “consulting” fees for the grants. McGill also required the grant recipients to falsely report that the grant monies were earned for work related to the grants. To conceal the fraud, McGill caused fraudulent invoices to be submitted to grant recipients.

The defendant faces a maximum total term of imprisonment of 75 years’ imprisonment and fines totaling $1,750,000. Sentencing will be held in Panama City on October 1, 2008 at 9:00 a.m.

This successful prosecution is the result of a three-year investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Office of Inspector General for the United States Department of Education, and the State of Florida Department of Financial Services. United States Attorney Miller commended the tireless efforts of investigators involved in this complex investigation. United States Attorney Miller stated, “the theft of federal educational and literacy funds by individuals entrusted with distributing those funds to those in need, is a grave abuse of the public trust. This office, along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Inspector General for the Department of Education, and the Florida Department of Financial Services, will vigorously investigate and identify those individuals who steal and divert educational grant monies from the intended recipients. Theft of public grant funds and fraud committed against the taxpayers and federal programs remains a priority with the Department of Justice.”

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stephen Kunz.

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Last Modified: 06/20/2008