Officials accused of Stealing FAMU Federal Grant Funds

A Florida A&M University employee and the head of the  FAMU Federal Credit Union are accused of conspiring to steal more than $130,000 in federal housing and urban development grant funds.

Eugene Telfair, 57, president of the FAMU Federal Credit Union and Robert Nixon, 45, director of FAMU’s Institute on Urban Policy and Commerce have been indicted on three charges, including conspiracy, theft from an organization receiving federal funds, and embezzlement of funds entrusted to a federally insured credit union, Pamela C. Marsh, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida announced Wednesday.

Telfair and Nixon wrote one another checks from the Credit Union and created fraudulent personal services contracts to make the payments appear legitimate. They are accused of stealing $134,253 between 2005 and 2008.

Telfair is also alleged to have created false tax documents and to have changed the taxpayer identification number on the grant account that was assigned to FAMU to the taxpayer identification number of his credit union, according to the U.S Attorney’s Office.

No date has been set for the men to be arraigned. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, if convicted, both men could face up to 70 years in prison if convicted.

When contacted about the charges, FAMU’s Chief Communications Officer Sharon Saunders said Nixon is a FAMU employee, but the Credit Union is not associated with the university.

“The University will review this matter as appropriate and will proceed in a manner that is in its best interest,” said Saunders.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud investigated the case.

Neither Nixon nor Telfair could be reached for comment on Thursday.