The USM Police and the Health and Human Service Office of Inspector General is investigating a case of alleged fraud and embezzlement of grant money in the behavior health area at the Edmund Muskie School of Public Service on the Portland campus.

“One of the people hired to do some work using the grant money allegedly committed fraud,” Chief Lisa Beecher said.

Beecher said the grant is large, but would not disclose the amount that was involved in the fraud.

“The portion having to do with the fraud is much smaller,” Beecher said. “The person [under investigation] no longer works here.”

“The individual was not a USM employee but an independent contractor,” Robert Caswell, Executive Director of Media and Community Relations said.

Health and Human Service Office of Inspector General Senior Special Agent Eric Havenier could not commit on the investigation.

“We can’t even comment that there is even a case,” Havenier said, “until we prosecute the person.”

The case is being referred to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for a decision concerning prosecution, Beecher said.


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