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Dothan man pleads guilty to embezzling money from Alabama State University

MONTGOMERY (AP) — A Dothan man pleaded guilty Thursday to wire fraud after he allegedly embezzled $367,000 from Alabama State University, justice officials said.

U.S. Attorney Leura Canary said in a statement that 40-year-old James Michael Hinson was working as an accountant for ASU when he diverted money into an account he had opened in February 2005 using ASU’s taxpayer identification number without the university’s authorization.

The account, under the name “ASU Auxiliary Accounting Club,” listed Hinson as the president, treasurer and authorized signatory. His home address in Dothan was listed as the club’s address.

No club

The club does not exist.

From Feb. 17, 2005 through April 3 of this year, Hinson diverted checks payable to ASU totaling about $367,730.82 into the account, Canary said in the statement. He used the funds to pay personal expenses, including credit card payments.

Hinson is set to be sentenced later this summer. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a restitution order and a fine of up to $250,000 or, if greater, twice the loss to ASU.

He was released on $25,000 bond pending sentencing.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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