Former VCU dental professor convicted of embezzling more than $100,000 — gets tripped up over 63 cents in account

hardiganA retired Virginia Commonwealth University dental professor almost got away with stealing more than $100,000 from the VCU Dental Faculty Practice Association, authorities said.

But James E. Hardigan was undone by a measly 63 cents that was left in an account from which he had taken a large sum of money, according to Richmond prosecutor John Jung.

Hardigan, 69, pleaded guilty Thursday in Richmond Circuit Court to felony embezzlement of $137,553.

No agreement was reached on his punishment. He faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced Aug. 9.

Hardigan, who now lives in Florida, became a dental professor at VCU in 1975 and in 1980 was named associate dean for administrative affairs for the VCU Dental Faculty Practice Association, Jung said.

The association was created to allow professors to both teach and have a private practice, Jung said.

In 1995, Hardigan opened an investment account with $500,000 under the association’s name, using money that belonged to the association, Jung said.

In 2004, Hardigan retired from VCU, Jung said. The following year, he moved $137,553 from the account that had been opened in the association’s name into a personal account, Jung said.

But 63 cents of interest apparently accrued in the first account, Jung said.

Later, the investment firm asked the association about the account, and because the association had been unaware that the account existed, officials started looking into the matter, Jung said. That led to an audit, which in turn led to a police investigation.

Hardigan’s attorney, Jeffrey L. Everhart, said his client is prepared to pay back the amount that he was convicted of stealing. Hardigan apparently had kept the money in his account and not spent it, Everhart said.

“The money never went anywhere,” he said.

Jung said it is unclear what happened to the rest of the $500,000 that had been used to open the initial account.

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Content retrieved from: Former VCU dental professor convicted of embezzling more than $100,000 – Richmond Times-Dispatch: Latest News


Sixty-three cents in interest left in an investment account reportedly incriminated a Venice retiree and former dental school professor who now faces up to 20 years in prison for felony embezzlement.

Authorities in Sarasota County arrested James Edward Hardigan, 69, of the 100 block of Torcello Court, on a warrant from Richmond, Va., in January.
Hardigan pleaded guilty in May and is scheduled back in Richmond Circuit Court on Sept. 24.

According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Hardigan became a professor at the School of Dentistry at Virginia Commonwealth University in 1975. In 1980, he became association dean for administrative affairs for the VCU Dental Faculty Practice Association.

In 1995, Hardigan reportedly opened an investment account under the faculty association’s name and with $500,000 of the association’s money.

Prosecutors claim that, when he retired in 2004, Hardigan moved $137,553 that remained in the association’s account to a personal account. They say 63 cents in interest later accrued in the association’s account. That eventually prompted the investment firm that still had the account to notify the association, which did not know the account existed.

An audit then turned into a police investigation, which led to Hardigan’s indictment by a grand jury in January.

Hardigan reportedly still had the $137,553 and agreed to pay it back.

Yet prosecutors told the Times-Dispatch that it is unclear what happened to the rest of the money that had been in the account.

According to Sarasota County property records, in 2004, Hardigan bought a newly constructed home in Venetian Golf & River Club for $639,000.

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Retired VCU professor gets no jail time for embezzlement


A retired VCU dental professor found guilty of stealing money will not face any jail time.

69-year-old James Hardigan was found guilty of stealing more than $130,000 from the VCU Dental Faculty Practice Association.

According to the Richmond Times Dispatch, a judge handed down a sentence of 10 years in jail, all of which was suspended. Hardigan must pay $2,500 in restitution.

Hardigan pled guilty in May to a single count of felony embezzlement.

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