S.C. University Director |Pleads Guilty to Fraud

(CN) – A program director at the University of South Carolina pleaded guilty Thursday to committing wire fraud in order to obtain $336,000 in federal grant money.
     Gail Shurling, 62, was the director of USC’s Center for Manufacturing and Technology. Prosecutors charged her with submitting fraudulent documents in grant applications that suggested work was completed for the center when in fact it was not.
     Additionally, prosecutors said Shurling approved contracts and payments to shell corporations that were controlled by friends, family members, and herself for work that was not completed.
     She entered her plea before U.S. District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis in Columbia, S.C. this morning.
     Lewis said she would impose a sentence after receiving input from the U.S. Probation Office. The maximum penalty for wire fraud is 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

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