Howard University fired six employees from its financial aid department for “gross misconduct and neglect of duties.” One of those former employees, Tyrone Hankerson Jr., is the lavish poster-child of the scandal, allegedly scamming $429,000 in financial aid.
Tyrone Hankerson Jr. is in the center of a scandal that rocked Howard University, a federally chartered, private, coeducational, historically black university in Washington, D.C.
An explosive statement released from Wayne Frederick, president of Howard University on Wednesday (March 28) explained that six employees were fired for “misappropriation of funds” in its financial aid department.
Frederick noted that he was told back in December 2016 that there may have been “some misappropriation of university-provided financial aid funds,” and launched an internal investigation.
Anonymous Source Accuses Hankerson Jr. of Stealing $429,000
That investigation found that over a nine year period (2007-2016), some employees received tuition benefits to cover the costs of taking classes, received university grants, and made up fake scholarships. The combination of which exceeded the actual cost of attending school. That double dipping translates into embezzlement.
The statement released from Howard University comes a full 10 months after the school learned about the misappropriation; and one day after an anonymous whistleblower alleged in an online article (since deleted) that over $1.0 million was stolen.
There is a screen shot of the article though.
At the center of the scandal is Tyrone Hankerson Jr., a former law student and employee at Howard University. It is alleged that he illegally pocketed $429,000 from Howard University’s financial reserves.
The anonymously sourced article alleges that between 2014 and 2017, Tyrone Hankerson Jr. was“award a $65,000 ‘University Need Based Grant.’ In 2014, Hankerson was awarded another $22,683 scholarship, labeled as a Mock Trial Scholarship.”
Past leadership said that it never awarded a mock trial scholarship in that amount, and wouldn’t have had the budget to accommodate a scholarship of that size.
In all, Hankerson Jr. is accused of stealing approximately $430,000.
Tyrone Hankerson Jr. Maintains His Innocence
Tyrone Hankerson Jr. found himself at the center of the storm, but continues to maintain his innocence. In a statement issued to ABC News, Hankerson says he wants to “thank the thousands of people nationwide” who offered their “prayers and words of support.”
He then gets to the heart of the issue. “I have done nothing illegal or wrong. When the truth comes out, it will be confirmed that I followed all rules and protocol with the approval of the then financial aid officers in any grants, scholarships or awards given to me as a student who attended class all year round and traveled abroad.”
Tyrone holds fast that any notion of misappropriation is “misleading if taken out of context.”
He then ends by asking everyone to “please respect my privacy.”
Tyrone Hankerson Jr. Flaunts Wealth
The media shy Hankerson has not always been this way. In fact, up until news of the scandal broke, he shamelessly flaunted his lavish lifestyle on social media sites for ages.
Unfortunately, he scrubbed all of these accounts over the last 24 hours. Fortunately, though, photos of the former Howard University study and financial aid employee still exist. And they appear to show that working in financial aid pays very well indeed.
Unlike cash-strapped Howard University, photos of Tyrone Hankeson Jr. show him wearing fur coats, designer clothes, designer handbags, and even a personal videographer to chronicle his scintillating life.
Howard University students are clearly outraged. First, they’re angered that school president Wayne Frederick knew about this for months and kept it private, only coming forward one day after the whistleblower made it public. Students at Howard University are also outraged that Tyrone Hankerson Jr. may have pocketed close to $430,000. And they’re taking to Twitter to express their disgust.
via @_Icklo: Tyrone Hankerson in 2015 to student in need of financial assistance >> “The University has utilized 100% of Financial Aid budget for the academic year.”
“We encourage you to look for outside scholarships.”
The same year he received $133,000 in aid. pic.twitter.com/3BUsclivdC
— #FrederickMustResign (@veritas1867) March 28, 2018
Tyrone Hankerson Jr. stole $429,000 from Howard University.
Months away from graduation and the scam went south.
Mink Coats, Designer Bags, personal videographer and media team. Everyone say hello to the FINESSE GOD TYRONE. pic.twitter.com/OFjPAr6QHl
— Tariq Sayed (@StyleByTariq) March 28, 2018