CRC coordinator resigns amid audit scandal

Photo by Jamie Howell

After an investigation conducted by the Department of Internal Auditing, the Campus Recreation Center (CRC) Sports Clubs Coordinator Ken Lovic resigned from his position. The audit noted numerous violations of campus policies including the falsification of invoices, improper cost allocation and the forgery of checks and invoices.

The special review of the CRC Sports club began in March of 2014 after an anonymous tipster notified Auditing of suspicious reimbursements and Procurement Card (PCard) transactions by Lovic. The audit examined transactions made between 2009 and 2014, financial documentation, training records, as well as the Institute email of Lovic. At the time, Lovic had primary oversight of the 44 sports clubs operating out of the CRC. Lovic also served as the Men’s Lacrosse Sports Club Coach.

Among the most serious of the findings was that Lovic was found to have forged a check. On July 30th, Lovic was questioned by the Student Organization Financial Office (SOFO) about an over $2,000 PCard charge that was not approved by the Student Government Association’s (SGA) budget. According to the report, Lovic stated that, “In looking at everything the best course of action is to start anew. I spoke to the company Sports Unlimited. They are going to refund the full amount.”

A check for the same amount that was drawn on the external bank account of Sports Unlimited, Inc., was received by SOFO on Aug. 13.  It was found that the check purportedly sent by Sports Unlimited had the same routing number as that of the external account run by the Men’s Lacrosse Club (GT Lacrosse Camps Inc.). It was also found that Lovic had installed check-writing software on his computer on the same day.

According to the report, when Auditing confronted Lovic about this “he stated, ‘I wrote it on behalf of’ Sports Unlimited ‘from our account’ and that ‘I wanted to make sure this was matching what we’ve done.’” Mr. Lovic stated that he did not receive authorization from Sports Unlimited to issue a check on their behalf.

Lovic was also found by the audit to have falsified invoices, having “admitted to creating invoices in the past in order to consolidate information from different sources into a single invoice,” as well as improperly spending SGA allocated funds—spending money allocated to one sports club on equipment for another.

On Jan. 23, after the results of the audit were given to Michael Edwards, Director of the CRC and to the Office of Human Resources, Lovic resigned from his position in the CRC.

“From that standpoint, I think this is a situation where trust was broken and there was deceit by an individual,” Edwards said.

In 2012, the Joint Committee on Fiscal Responsibility made up of SGA members, released a report that detailed problems with the way CRC Sports Clubs funds were allocated. This included “Incorrectly reimbursed line items, clerical errors, and incorrect accounting procedures.”

“The results of the audit confirmed suspicions that SGA already had about the handling of sports club finances,” said Dillon Roseen, Undergraduate Student Body President.

After 2012, the CRC made several changes to the accounting of the sports clubs, including moving the money from one account to separate accounts for each club. In addition SOFO was put in charge of the accounting, although procurements and reimbursements still went through the CRC.

As part of the Memorandum of Understanding between the CRC and SGA, on Oct. 1 of 2014, all sports club procurement and finance oversight was handed over to SOFO. CRC no longer procured equipment for the sports clubs.

Another finding of the report was that Lovic had an undisclosed conflict of interest.

“It appears that the Lacrosse club is operating beyond its scope as a student organization; rather, it appears to be operating as a personal business, solely controlled by and benefitting Mr. Lovic,” the audit stated. “Mr. Lovic stated that only he has access to the bank account, and public records indicate that he is the sole officer of the ‘for-profit corporation.’ Mr. Lovic spends most of his time on Men’s Lacrosse and only assists the other 43 clubs, as he stated, ‘when they need it.’”

According to Edwards, in addition to previously mentioned actions, the CRC will conduct more thorough training of its accountants and administrators on proper procurement procedures.