Highlights from US Attorney’s press conference on Robert Felner indictment

by E Wayne Ross on October 22, 2008

PageOneKentucky.com: Highlights of Huber’s Press Conference

As we reported a little bit ago, Robert Felner has been indicted. U.S. Attorney David Huber held a press conference at 1:00 P.M. and we are there.

Here are our notes:

* Huber said the UofL Police Dept discovered this and turned things over to the Feds. He congratulated the law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation– and they deserve it. IRS, UofL PD, Secret Service.
* Huber outlined the indictment and discussed the millions upon millions of dollars that Felner squandered beginning at the University of Rhode Island. Opened several bank accounts to handle the money.
* All the money in Felner’s bank accounts seized along asset forfeiture procedures. Most of the money from the UofL grants was recovered. URI funds not recovered. Scheme at URI and UofL were essentially the same. Work contracted, work was performed but money didn’t go where it was supposed to (Bobby pocketed it). The grand jury didn’t get into what work was performed at UofL– don’t need that sort of information for the case. Have enough charges without having to get into that.
* Felner didn’t report his income from these various accounts. Yeah, duh, that’s part of the crime, right?
* Adam Walser asked why the system broke down. Huber says the grand jury doesn’t address that. Huber said people are many times able to get away with these things. Things just happen, but he can’t address what happened at UofL or URI.
* Parallel proceedings will go on re: other assets like property. Felner’s investment account was seized immediately.
* Huber believes they have the fraud, the extent of the fraud and the participants. He doesn’t see anything else coming at this point but refused to say that nothing else would come down the pike. (We hear that it will. And EVERYTHING we have predicted so far has come true. I.E., it wasn’t about the NCLB grant, it involved millions and millions of dollars, it involved property, it involved multiple individuals like Schroeder. We were right and the C-J NEVER got it.)
* Arrest warrants are out. They’ll surrender tomorrow. Sees no problem with that. (That means there’ll be mugshots, folks. MUGSHOTS.)
* Huber says the quicker you can get into an investigation, the easier it is to resolve. We only wish that were the case for former Lt. Gov. Steve Henry.
* Complex case, lot of documents, lot of people to interview. Lots of people in other states.
* The charges: Felner and Schroeder are both facing charges for $1.7mil at URI that were diverted to funds set up by the two of them; charged with fraudulently obtaining $576,000 from the UofL No Child Left Behind grant; intent to take another $240,000 from UofL; both involved in tax conspiracy; Felner is alleged to have reported over $1.6mil in 5-year period, owes approx $500K in back taxes. Those are the kind of things that could change over a period of time, though, but these are the most likely final outcomes of the case
* There are other things they did – on some of the school district cases they charged expenses to UofL. There are a lot of things in the indictment that explains the history of the Felner case. (We’ll have the indictment online for you shortly.)
* Huber says peaks and valleys of questions raised by the indictment will be filled by facts and evidence during a jury trial. Folks with further questions will need to be patient (easier said than done).

We’ll get the indictment scanned and uploaded shortly. Stay tuned.