Wiscoonsin: printable version | e-mail this story | ((5) Comments) Comments | Text Size Felner indicted on charges of misusing federal grant money

by E Wayne Ross on October 23, 2008

The Journal Times: Felner indicted on charges of misusing federal grant money

Before he was chosen to lead the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Robert Felner pilfered more than $2 million in grant money, according to charges filed Wednesday.

Felner, also former education dean at the University of Louisville, and an associate, Thomas Schroeder of Port Byron, Ill., were charged Wednesday with conspiracy to commit money laundering, mail fraud and conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service.

Felner also faces six charges of federal income tax evasion for allegedly failing to report $1.6 million in income from 2002-2007. The indictment says he owes $500,000 in back taxes.

The indictment states Felner and Schroeder conspired to embezzle more than $1.7 million from the University of Rhode Island, fraudulently obtained $576,000 in grant money and attempted to embezzle another $240,000 from the University of Louisville through the National Center on Public Education and Social Policy at the University of Rhode Island.

U.S. Attorney David Huber in Louisville said the University of Rhode Island, where Felner was director of the School of Education from 1996 to 2003, was the biggest victim in the scheme.

“People who are in a trusted position, who have credibility, are able to get away with things to a point,” Huber said. “Eventually, things come crashing down.”