UC Davis Fraud Sentencing

K. Lloyd Billingsley: On June 2, former UC Davis official Jennifer Beeman will be sentenced in an embezzlement case. Beeman pleaded no contest in Yolo Superior Court on April 14 to two felony counts of embezzlement and falsifying accounts. Neither charge involves her falsification of  campus sexual assault statistics.

For 16 years Beeman headed the UC Davis Campus Violence Prevention Program, established in 1979 and an arm of the UC Davis police department. UC Davis hailed Beeman as the right person to monitor sexual assault on campus. Beeman also administered a violence prevention program across all University of California campuses. In that cause, the highly touted administrator proved creative with statistics.

In 2001 the Sacramento Bee reported that one of Beeman’s grant applications said that every year as many as 700 UC Davis students were victims of rape or attempted rape. At the same times, said a December 10 Bee story, “the university’s reports to the federal government said assaults on campus were practically nonexistent.”

UC Davis eventually owned up to the exaggerations. Beeman significantly over-reported the number of forcible sex offenses that were committed on and around campus in 2005, 2006 and 2007,” the university said in a press release. The true figures were “less than half” those Beeman reported. From 1999 to 2005, the CVPP received four federal grants totaling $3,168,923, according to a UC Davis audit.

UC Davis officials would not reveal whether the university had disciplined or censured Beeman over the falsified statistics. She remained in her job, which paid $6,118.13 a month, not including benefits. In 2008, UC Davis placed Beeman on administrative leave, with pay, “in connection with allegations that she improperly charged travel expenses to a federal grant.”

Beeman’s use of program funds led to a year-long investigation, and she was suspected of embezzling more than $10,000. UC Davis police chief Annette Spicuzza told CalWatchdog that “She was investigated as anyone would have been in the same situation.”

Arrested last December 9, Beeman faced nine felony charges of misusing public funds, embezzlement and false accounting. She struck a plea bargain with Yolo County prosecutors, who dropped seven of the charges. She will be sentenced on the two remaining charges on June 2.

UC Davis spokesman Andy Fell told CalWatchdog that the “exact position” held by Beeman was eliminated as a budget measure, and that UC Davis police officials now oversee the anti-violence program.

APRIL 20, 2011

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