Month: November 2015

Channel 2 investigation exposes financial wrongdoing and cover-up at UGA

At 60, Sallyanne Barrow never thought she would become a whistleblower, especially against the school she attended, worked for, donated to, and has loved her entire life. 

Its not something you want to do, but its the right thing to do, said Barrow, who is a certified public accountant. I had a fiduciary duty to report fraud.

Barrow worked for the University of Georgia alumni relations office and reported her boss, Deborah Dietzler, for skipping work without taking leave and using taxpayer money for personal trips.

We’re digging into the lies one former UGA employee allegedly used and how our investigation caused her to be suspended from her new $185,000 a year job.

I think thats terrible. I think thats corrupt, said Barrow, who began documenting Dietzler’s activities in 2013 after a complaint from Dietzlers assistant.

He came to me and said, I am not going to continue to lie for her, and he informed me of what she was doing with her travel requests, Barrow said. 

Dietzler was in charge of programming to help the university bring in alumni dollars, so her job allowed travel to chapters around the country.

But Dietzler was also an avid marathon runner, who would book her races, hotels and airfare, and then task her assistant, Scott Kinney, to find alumni for her to meet so she could bill taxpayers for the trip.

“It could certainly be drinks at a hotel lobby, it could be having breakfast with someone. We simply had to find people for her to meet with, Kinney said. Anyone to justify the reason why shes staying in these cities for so many days.

Sometimes he couldnt find anyone, including during the Big Sur marathon in California.

The burden on me was to find someone in Monterey to speak with her, and after weeks of trying, with nobody to speak with her, she still went out and charged at least one of those nights back to the state, Kinney said.

Even on Dietzler’s legitimate trips, he saw trouble.

In Philadelphia, Dietzler had Kinney cancel the reservation that hed made for her at the conference hotel for $176 a night, and rebook her down the street at a different hotel, where she could earn points, for $311 a night.

Theres a state allowance for per diems. Oftentimes I had to fabricate this information, just to justify it, said Kinney, who said numerous travel authorization documents containing false information were submitted to the university.

He says when Dietzler wasnt traveling, her behavior wasnt much better.

Sometimes I wouldnt see Debbie in the office for one or two weeks, Kinney said. Things were piling up, piling up, piling up.

Records show that she emailed her staff dozens of excuses, ranging from a sore throat, carpet installation at her home, even waiting for the person who picks up her dogs waste.

Dietzler “routinely fails to record sick leave when she is absent from the office,” according to an investigative report conducted by UGAs chief auditor after Barrows complaint.   

The auditor interviewed Dietzler and noted that she “does not believe that she has to record leave for the instances noted, due to the exceptional number of hours that she works.”

The report did not include of the dates or a total dollar amount for the financial wrongdoing, but it did note “an abuse of authority by Ms. Dietzler,” a statement on a travel document that was “clearly a misrepresentation of facts,” and the violation of several university policies and possibly state law.  

The UGA Fraud Committee recommended that the university not renew Dietzlers contract.

Emails show that the auditors report went all the way to University of Georgia President Jere Morehead, who declined Channel 2s request for an interview.

“The report was not to necessarily become a permanent record, or a permanent document, said former UGA Vice President Tom Landrum, who retired last year.

Landrum, who was Dietzlers boss, told WSB-TV investigative reporter Jodie Fleischer that he thought the report was a draft and would later be destroyed.

I really do not feel the university covered it up. I feel like the university followed its own process, Landrum said.

But state policy also requires that process to include forwarding cases like Dietzlers to the state Board of Regents and attorney general to determine whether a criminal investigation is needed.

When Fleischer asked Landrum about that part of the process, he looked at her blankly and did not respond.

Landrum said he followed the recommendation of the fraud committee and told Dietzler that her contract would not be renewed.

But then he decided to help her write a resignation letter instead.

Records show that Landrum gave Dietzler a new title, at the same $123,000 salary, which she held for six months while she looked for a new job.

There is no documentation of the non-renewal.

“By not documenting the wrongdoing in any way, youve passed on a bad employee to another university? Fleischer asked Landrum.

He replied, Im not going to second-guess the work of the committee.

Dietzler is now associate vice president for alumni relations and annual giving at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, where she earns $185,000 a year.

Fleischer traveled to Louisville, but couldnt locate Dietzler at her office.

It turns out that she was at home during the work day.

We came to ask you about your finances when you were at UGA, Fleischer asked through a glass window.

Deitzler pretended that she couldnt hear the question and refused to open the door.

Instead, she called to her husband, who came outside and declined comment.

A spokesman for the University of Louisville said the school was not aware of the Dietzler investigation when it hired her. Dietzler has been placed on administrative leave there, and the University of Louisville is conducting a review of her activities.

The University of Georgia issued a statement, saying: “This is a personnel matter subject to potential litigation. Therefore, we will not make any further comment.”

The potential litigation is from Barrow.

The thanks that she received for exposing the misuse of taxpayer funds: She was fired later that year.

It was as if I had given them a black eye that they wanted to cover up, she said.

AXIOLOGIX INC (OTCMKTS:AXLX) Acquires International Money Management Inc. To …

AXIOLOGIX INC (OTCMKTS:AXLX) was a massive decliner in the overnight trading session. The stock plunged by close to 44% on the back of 8 times the average daily volumes indicative of the strong selling momentum. The stock currently trades below all important daily moving averages. The momentum indicators for the stock have given a sell signal indicative of the shift of momentum towards the sell side. The relative strength index for the stock has given a sell signal, which is a cause for concern for traders. Traders believe the stock could head to levels of $0.12 in the near term.

AXIOLOGIX INC (OTCMKTS:AXLX) signed a definitive agreement to acquire a few assets of International Money Management Inc so that it could build up money transfer portfolio. AXIOLOGIX is one of the leading names in International Remittance and mobile payment space.

The Irvine CA-based International Money Management Inc. can prove to be a major asset for any company trying to make a mark in money transfer field. The transaction was subjected to a few condition, including AXIOLOGIX getting a total funding of $500,000.

Asgard finetunes Elements platform

Asgard Wealth Solutions has added four new funds to its Elements mini master trust, allowing “both aggressive and defensive investors to respond to ongoing market volatility”.

The four new funds are the BlackRock Wholesale International Bond Fund, Goldman Sachs JBWere Australia Quantitative Equity Fund, Schroder Global Emerging Markets Fund and the UBS Cash Fund.

They bring to 64 the total number of funds on the Elements platform, which was launched in 2004, provided by 24 representative fund managers.

Acting general manager of product Lisa Chadwick told Money Management the new funds will “ensure the Elements menu offers advisers a simple, well–priced product with a completeness of menu in these volatile markets.

“It now contains a particular mix of funds that give both the defensive and the aggressive investment opportunities advisers are looking for when they devise strategies for their clients.

“In addition, the new funds, all of which have been rated by Standard amp; Poor’s, provide advisers with investment options that were not previously on the platform,” she said.

BlackRock Wholesale International Bond Fund aims to outperform the Lehman Global Aggregate 500 Index (A$ hedged) by 1.5 per cent per annum (before fees) over rolling three-year periods.

The Goldman Sachs JBWere Australia Quantitative Equity Fund (AQE Fund) is a long-only fund that combines quantitative and fundamental approaches to deliver enhanced investment results.

The Schroder Global Emerging Market Fund is an actively managed fund with a portfolio significantly different from the benchmark.

The UBS Cash Fund is a well-established fund that continues to generate gross benchmark returns with competitive fees. UBS is a well-respected and renowned fixed interest manager with extensive expertise.

“There’s always a Risk” Paine College Interim President Addresses Financial Issues

Paine College Interim President, Dr. Samuel Sullivan addressed the school’s financial issues in a press conference on Friday.

As we first reported last week, the historic college is having financial problems. The school’s money issues surfaced publicly in 2012 when it lost federal loan eligibility after an audit.

In 2014 the school was placed on probation for not meeting accreditation requirements and, this past Friday, faculty and staff members did not get paid.

Interim President Dr. Samuel Sullivan said that as of today all employees scheduled to be paid at the end of October have now been paid.

Sullivan says he’s grateful for all of the donations, but this is still an ongoing problem.

They are going forward with a balanced budget, but there are still some major adjustments that have to be made.

Students at Paine College are feeling the effects of the financial challenges as well.

“Paine college is the only institution that gave me the opportunity to better myself,” Sophomore, Deonte Moses said.

Deonte Moses and Early Eckles said it’s the uncertainty of the whole situation that’s the worst part.

“The attitude has gone from concern to worry to fear almost,” Senior, Early Eckles said.

Dr. Sullivan explained that the problems at Paine are far from over, but they are making progress.

With the continual decline of student enrollment Sullivan says there’s not enough revenue to keep certain programs and even people around.

“We’re looking at all areas that’s the tough part of this position, is that everything is on the table. We’re trying to make what we believe are the best decisions to make in support of the students who are here,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan says he is trying to take into consideration the student’s needs and balance that with how much money the school has.

“We are trying to reassure them that Paine will be here for them, that they should continue to believe in us, and continue to support us, and continue to pursue whatever degree they are seeking from Paine College,” the President said.

But even he admits nothing is promised.

“There’s always a risk,” he said.

Of course Dr. Sullivan says he needs help from the community and they will be holding a “Build it Back, Save Paine College” rally. This will be Tuesday November 10th, 2015 at 6pm at the Gilbert-Lambuth Memorial Chapel.

VCU brings money management in-house

There’s a new guardian overseeing the VCU war chest.

The university announced Tuesday it has formed an independent, tax-exempt foundation called VCU Investment Management Co. (VCIMCO). The nonprofit will manage investment-related services for the endowments and assets of the university, VCU Health and potentially for affiliated entities and foundations.

Currently, the university’s various affiliate foundations receive investment management services from outsourced companies. A majority of those assets are managed by two third-party managers – JPMorgan Chase and Lowe, Brockenbrough amp; Co.

Nancy Everett, a VCU alumna and former VCU Board of Visitors member who was tapped to lead the new company as CEO and chief investment officer, said its formation follows the lead of other institutions. The University of Richmond and the University of Virginia both have their own investment management companies.

“When you look at universities and colleges that have assets at the size that VCU does, they generally will have their own internal management teams,” Everett said. “As VCU has evolved over the years, they’ve been in the process of trying to bring up to industry best practices in all areas, and this was an important one for them.

“It’s important for VCU because I think people will look at it and see a more holistic view of how the assets are going to be managed, and just an assurance that there is a professional investment management team that’s focused.”

Everett stepped down as a member of the Board of Visitors earlier this year to accept her new appointment. She currently serves on the board of trustees of the VCU School of Business Foundation – one of the various foundations the new company can serve.

As stated in a release, Everett has previously worked as a senior adviser at Lombard Odier Investment Management, managing director and head of US fiduciary management at BlackRock, and CEO of Promark Global Advisors. She also served 26 years with Virginia Retirement System, including four years as chief investment officer.

Everett said each foundation affiliated with VCU has the option to use the company’s services, which are restricted by law to entities associated with VCU and VCU Health. As of now, VCU Finance and VCU Health are the only entities identified as having assets that will be managed by VCIMCO. Those entities, combined with all other foundations affiliated with VCU, total of more than $2 billion of investable assets between them.

Why you should consider freezing your credit reports even before your …

PITTSBURGH – So far this year, more than 100 data breaches have resulted in an estimated 153 million financial records being stolen – hitting big names such as Experian, T-Mobile, Anthem and US government personnel records – with most of the victims being offered free credit monitoring services as a check against ID theft.

But a new report by the Washington-based consumer group US PIRG says credit monitoring isnt nearly enough. The group is urging all consumers to consider freezing their credit reports as the only way to stop ID thieves from taking out loans, credit cards and other credit accounts in victims names.

Whether your personal information has been stolen or not, your best protection against someone opening new credit accounts in your name is the security freeze, said Mike Litt, consumer program advocate at US PIRG. Credit monitoring services may tell you (about a fraudulent account) but only after youve been victimized.

When a freeze is in place, credit bureaus are prevented from releasing a file to potential creditors without the consumers permission. Because most businesses wont open credit accounts without checking a consumers credit history, ID thieves are locked out.

There are drawbacks to consider, including fees, which vary by state; some limitations; and the potential for delays when consumers legitimately want to apply for credit. People must lift freezes if they want to apply for mortgages, car loans, credit cards or other type of credit.

A thaw can be activated online or by phone using a personal identification number and choosing the number of days that the thaw applies. It can be a general thaw or apply only to a specific creditor.

There is no fee to permanently lift a freeze, which automatically expires in seven years.

Victims of ID theft who provide a police report can freeze and thaw their files at no charge, while people 65 and older can initiate a freeze or free but must pay $10 for a thaw.

For the broadest protection, experts recommend that consumers freeze their credit reports with all three main credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – because a freeze request with one doesnt extend to the others. Experian said it froze 433,558 files through October this year, up from 160,639 in all of 2014.

A consumer applying for credit who wants to temporarily lift a freeze should find out which credit bureau the lender is using to assess creditworthiness and request a thaw from that particular bureau.

In most cases, a report can be thawed within 15 minutes. But since the law allows credit bureaus up to three days to lift a freeze, shoppers could be blocked from getting instant store credit – the kind that promises a discount of 10 percent or more for signing up for a credit card at the register.

Freezes also could interfere with other products and services that may require a credit check, such as getting insurance, renting an apartment, hooking up to a utility or opening a cell phone account.

The US PIRG report noted that neither credit monitoring nor a security freeze can detect or prevent unauthorized use of existing credit accounts or other types of fraud or identity theft such as theft of tax refunds or medical services. Many banks and credit card companies have mechanisms in place to detect existing account fraud and remove unauthorized purchases.

The report contended that paid credit monitoring services, which typically cost from around $10 to $20 a month, are not worth the expense because consumers can essentially monitor their own reports free. Federal law requires each of the main credit bureaus to provide consumers with a free credit report once a year.

Litt acknowledged that a credit monitoring service might detect theft faster than consumers could on their own, depending on when consumers happen to check their reports.

For victims of data breaches, an alternative to a credit freeze is to place fraud alerts on credit reports. The alerts are free but must be renewed every 90 days. Victims of identity theft can sign up for extended fraud alerts that last seven years.

A fraud alert lets creditors know that they should take special precautions before extending credit. An alert with one of the three main credit bureaus is automatically extended to the other two.

Alerts are weaker than a freeze because creditors arent legally bound to abide by an alert.

For more information, visit To download the US PIRG report, visit To order copies of your free credit reports, visit, or call 877-322-8228.

The details

What it does: Blocks credit bureaus from releasing information from your credit report to lenders and other businesses without your permission. That effectively stops identity thieves from opening a credit card, cell phone account or other accounts in your name.

What it costs: For Pennsylvania residents, it costs $10 to initiate a freeze and $10 to temporarily lift (thaw) one. Theres no charge to permanently remove a freeze. ID theft victims who submit a police report, and people 65 and older do not have to pay to initiate a freeze. ID theft victims also can request a thaw at no charge.

Where to start: For information on credit freezes, visit each of the three main national credit bureaus websites, or call them toll free:, 1-800-685-1111;, 1-888-397-3742;,


Where to turn

Victims of identity theft can visit the Federal Trade Commissions website,, for a steps to take to recover, including initiating a fraud alert with credit bureaus and where to report the crime.

People should stagger their requests with each bureau every four months or so to keep tabs on their credit reports throughout the year, US PIRG said.

Festive car sales: What’s new in car loan products?

Adhil Shetty

Car buyers revel during festive seasons as there is usually a bonanza of offers for the taking. This time, it is double bonanza, as the dreaded inflation has dipped compared to the previous year, and the falling interest rates have made car loans more pocket friendly. Whats more, banks are showering consumers with a number of season discounts to choose from.

Popular festive car loan schemes

Here is a look at some of the popular car loan festive season deals and what you should know before opting for any one of them.

1. State Bank of India: State Bank of India has waived off loan processing fee for loans under the SBI Car Loan Scheme, NRI Car Loan Scheme, Nano Youth Car Loan Scheme, SBI Loyalty Car Loan Scheme, and SBI Combo Loan Scheme. The waiver on processing fee is applicable until December 31, 2015. SBI offers its car loan schemes at an interest rate of 0.50% above its base rate, ie, 9.80% pa for women borrowers, and at 0.55% above base rate, ie, 9.85% pa for everyone else.

2. Vijaya Bank: Vijaya Bank offers complete waiver of processing fees and inspection charges for both new and used car loans. They currently offer a maximum repayment tenure of 84 months at a floating interest rate of 10.05% pa, 0.4% above their base rate.

3. IDBI Bank: IDBI Bank has tied up with dealers and manufacturers of vehicles to provide special dealer car loans. The bank has also waived off loan processing fee completely during the festive offer period. IDBI car loans come at an interest rate starting from 10.10%, 0.35% above their base rate. The bank offers further 0.25% concession on auto loans for their existing home loan borrowers.

4. Axis Bank: Axis Bank currently offers car loans of up to 85% of the on-road price of the vehicle for a tenure of up to 7 years. The bank has collaborated with select car manufacturers for instant car loan approvals. Under the festival scheme, Axis Bank offers lsquo;same day car loan disbursals, easing the process of car purchase. Axis Bank car loans for new cars are available at interest rates between 11.50-12.50%, with a loan-processing fee between Rs. 3500-5500.

5. Dena Bank: Dena Bank has a special scheme for salary account holders, who need to pay only 10% of the on-road price for new cars as margin money. Dena Bank offers car loans for up to 5 years at a floating rate of 10.20% for general borrowers and 10.10% for women borrowers. The bank charges interest on a daily reducing basis. As per the festival scheme, Dena Bank charges no prepayment penalty for its car loans.

6. Punjab National Bank: PNB has waived off the processing fee on its car loans until December 31st. Currently, the bank also provides car loans at 9.85% (BR + 0.25%) and at base rate (9.6%) for women borrowers having housing loan in the bank during the festive season.

Other banks that have waived off the processing fee and are offering fast processing include IndusInd bank and Bank of Baroda. Banks like HDFC Bank and ICICI have announced 100% funding against the ex-showroom price of cars.

Tips for buyers to make use of festive car loan sales

While special and festival schemes are usually very attractive, there are certain details that you need to consider:
bull; Always compare car loan schemes of various banks before choosing the best option according to your need.
bull; Do your calculation and see how much you will be saving and how much EMI you can afford. Do not opt for a loan just because it is a festival discount or special scheme. Not all discounts or schemes are financially beneficial for all categories of car loan seekers.
bull; Know the terms and conditions of the season discounts before finalizing your car loan. Most schemes and discounts are limited-period offers.
bull; Most festive discounts are offered on new car loans, so double check if you are planning to take a loan for a pre-used car.

Festive seasons see car sales go up festive season as it is considered to be an auspicious time to make a car purchase. The lower interest rates along with the special schemes on offer can make it doubly easy for you to make that long pending car purchase.

Lazard flagship fund ‘highly recommended’

Leading research houses, Lonsec and Zenith Investment Partners both rated Lazard Asset Managements flagship Select Australian Equity Fund as highly recommended.

Lazard Australian Equity Portfolio manager, Rob Osborn, said the high conviction fund had outperformed the Samp;P/ASX200 since its inception in 2002.

We take a long-term view and build portfolios that can be quite different than those of our competitors and the index, he said.

For over a decade, our process of identifying intrinsic value has remained relatively unchanged and over time, we believe this has provided our clients with a compelling rate of return.

The 2014 Money Management/Lonsec Australian Equities (Broad Cap) Fund Manager of the Year Award winner also saw its Australian Diversified Income Fund upgraded to recommended following Lonsecs most recent review of the fund.

3 Stocks Underperforming Today In The Financial Services Industry

Two out of the three major indices are trading up today with the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (
^DJI) trading up 71 points (0.4%) at 17,316 as of Monday, Nov. 16, 2015, 11:55 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,543 issues advancing vs. 1,341 declining with 209 unchanged.

The Financial Services industry currently is unchanged today versus the Samp;P 500, which is up 0.2%. On the negative front, top decliners within the industry include
E*Trade Financial (
ETFC), down 1.3%,
CME Group (
CME), down 1.1% and
Goldman Sachs Group (
GS), down 0.7%. Top gainers within the industry include
Noah Holdings (
NOAH), up 4.9%,
BGC Partners (
BGCP), up 3.8% and
Orix (
IX), up 1.0%.

TheStreet would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the industry lower today:

Synchrony Financial (
SYF) is one of the companies pushing the Financial Services industry lower today. As of noon trading, Synchrony Financial is down $0.36 (-1.2%) to $30.16 on heavy volume. Thus far, 9.3 million shares of Synchrony Financial exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $30.00-$30.39 after having opened the day at $30.23 as compared to the previous trading days close of $30.52.

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Synchrony Financial operates as a consumer financial services company in the United States. Synchrony Financial has a market cap of $25.7 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 2.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Synchrony Financial a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates
Synchrony Financial as a
hold. The companys strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the companys profit margins have been poor overall. Get the full
Synchrony Financial Ratings Report now.

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Initiative Aims to Remove Financial Barriers to Greek Rush


The Panhellenic Council and the Multicultural Greek Letter Council will begin providing subsidies during recruitment next semester to cover initial dues for new members who might otherwise be deterred by the financial burdens of Greek life.

The initiative, which was originally proposed as an amendment to the Panhellenic Council budget and approved in October, will attempt to eliminate the financial barrier that prevents some students from rushing. New members will soon be able to apply for a one time $700 subsidy that will be paid to their chapter, according to Kendall Grant ’16, president of the Panhellenic Council.

By looking through the Panhellenic Council’s budget, Emma Keteltas ’17, vice president of finance for Panhellenic Council, said she was able to find the funds necessary to subsidize new Panhellenic and Multicultural Greek letter members.

The MGLC initiative was formed by the executive board and also approved by chapter delegates in October, according to President Andrea Kim ’16.

Students will not have to declare financial need prior to the formal recruitment process, but may be awarded subsidies based on both need and merit after the process concludes. There will be a formal application process to receive these subsidies and all applications will be reviewed by the executive board and the Panhel advisor in the Office of Fraternities, Sororities, and Independent Living, according to Grant.