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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, April 12, 2018 1:00 am

Indiana Tech: Staff had no role in scam

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

Indiana Tech employees had no role in an alleged scheme in which BAE Systems workers stole money from the company through a tuition assistance program, college officials said.

Two dozen employees of the defense contractor with offices in Fort Wayne face federal charges. They filed requests for tuition assistance, pocketed the money and never took the classes, court documents say.

A fraudulent receipt from one of the requests in 2013 included the name of a former Indiana Tech employee who had left the college months before the transaction, Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacey Speith said last week. That led investigators to Latonya D. Smith, 40, who pleaded guilty to wire fraud, she said. Smith no longer works at BAE.

No Indiana Tech employees have been connected to the case.

“There's nobody here who was assisting them in that effort (scheme) and that has not ever been suggested to us by anybody involved,” said Brian Engelhart, a spokesman for the college, in an email.

Former employees stole more than $600,000 from BAE, according to court documents.

mleblanc@jg.net