RMAS Uncovers Fraud, Former Employee Pleads Guilty

March 8, 2016

A former employee of Harvard University pled guilty on Feb. 29 to all charges related to his alleged use of a Harvard-issued employee credit card for personal expenses.

Waltham, Massachusetts resident Shawn Bunn—who was formerly employed in a University-owned computer lab—was ordered by a judge to pay $80,000 in restitution to Harvard for larceny, forgery, and false entry in corporate books committed with his University credit card

A court-authorized search of the defendant’s residence yielded a laundry list of items illegally bought with University money, including several Apple products, Nintendo Wii controllers, hundreds of DVDs and CDs, and several Star Wars-themed Lego sets.

The Harvard Risk Management and Audit Services department first discovered Bunn’s embezzlement in a University-wide audit last year, Harvard spokesperson Tania deLuzuriaga said earlier this fall.

“For four years the defendant used Harvard University funds for his own purposes,” District Attorney Marian Ryan said in a press release from the Middlesex County District Attorney’s office after the guilty plea.

Bunn initially listed the purchase of computer equipment on Harvard documents. He then allocated funds for personal use. Over the following years, he embarked on multiple buying sprees, purchasing largely domestic items as varied as a table saw and a Dr. Who Tardis cookie jar, according to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office.

Bunn had been employed by Harvard University for 17 years prior to his convictions of larceny, false entry in corporate books, and uttering of forged documents.

In addition to restitution, Bunn has been sentenced to two years in jail, followed by 10 years of probation.

—Staff writer William C. Belfiore for The Crimson