- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 25, 2014

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - The former budget director of Southern New Hampshire University was sentenced Tuesday to 7 ½ to 15 years in prison for stealing $1.1 million from the school over the course of 14 years.

Raymond Prouty, who had worked at the Manchester school for 34 years, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of theft by deception and theft by unauthorized taking. He did not comment at his sentencing hearing in Merrimack County Superior Court, but prosecutors said he gave no specific explanations for the thefts.

“He explained, ‘It just started. It just started and somehow, it just escalated,’” Assistant Attorney General Geoffrey Ward said, according to WMUR-TV (https://bit.ly/1kaKdHv). “He explained that it was just for paying bills and perhaps living beyond his means.”

The allegations span from 1998 into 2012 and were uncovered after authorities noticed an unauthorized scholarship for Prouty’s niece and took a closer look at financial records. Ward said one of his schemes involved steering money he said was for sports officials into a dummy company he created and controlled.

Investigators said Prouty also stole more than $95,000 from Hooksett Kiwanis, where he served as treasurer, and then had the university reimburse the organization. They also found a checking account dating back to 1999 that the university didn’t know existed.

Prouty was ordered to repay the money, reimbursing the university $100,000 per year.

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