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Financial raid! - Brooklyn Paper

Financial raid!

Police say a Pratt Institute staffer scammed the school by writing phony checks to students, forging their signatures, and putting the money in her bank account.
Rene Perez

Cops arrested a Pratt Institute financial adviser on Monday after investigators accused her of stealing more than $270,000 from the college’s coffers since 2006.

Sharon McMillan, 48, a senior financial aid counselor, wrote more than 100 refund checks to random students, forged their signatures, and made deposits into her own bank account, police documents indicate.

She faces up to 15 years in the slammer for grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, and scheming to defraud, said a spokesman for the Brooklyn District Attorney.

“While it is disappointing to uncover such behavior, we are confident that the Institute is taking all appropriate actions to prevent anything similar from recurring,” said William Schmitz, Pratt’s director of safety and security.

A Pratt Institute spokeswoman said that the cash loss didn’t make much of a dent since the checks were issued over a six-year period.

The school discovered McMillan’s long-running scam after a coworker sniffed some fishy accounting. When investigators contacted students who were listed as payees, the pupils said they never received any checks.

McMillan confessed, according to police. School officials say she was immediately fired.

Reach Kate Briquelet at kbriquelet@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-2511.

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