Fired Wayland Baptist CFO pleads guilty to theft

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Associated Press

Posted on April 23, 2014 at 2:32 PM

PLAINVIEW, Texas (AP) — A fired chief financial officer at a West Texas university must serve five years in prison for stealing more than $1.3 million in school money.

Hale County District Attorney Wally Hatch on Wednesday said 68-year-old James E. Smith was taken into custody after pleading guilty to felony theft.

The Amarillo Globe-News (http://bit.ly/1rlRSEO ) reports the ex-Wayland Baptist University CFO was sentenced last Thursday in a plea deal. Hatch says Smith was also ordered to repay the stolen money — initially estimated at about $40,000.

Smith was suspended in March 2013 amid allegations he falsified financial documents and embezzled university money over a four-year period. The wrongdoing was uncovered during a financial review of campus construction.

Smith, who was fired last April, had been CFO of the school in Plainview since 2001.

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Online:

http://www.wbu.edu/

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Information from: Amarillo Globe-News, http://www.amarillo.com

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