Former Southern University band director Nathan Haymer was sentenced to 13 months in prison by a federal judge on charges that he misappropriated thousands of dollars from the school.
U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson ordered Haymer to pay $78,000 in restitution after he pleaded guilty to taking upwards of $30,000, though federal prosecutors alleged he stole more than $112,000 while serving as band director.
Haymer told Jackson that he was “remorseful as possible” for his crime and was “not proud of is the people I disappointed.”
“I’m here to accept full responsibility for my actions,” he said.
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John McLindon, an attorney representing Haymer, charged the university with a lack of institutional control in defense of his client’s action, though he noted that Haymer should not be excused from wrongdoing.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Stevens explained that Haymer “stole a significant amount of money.”
“You took advantage of that. You took this as an opportunity to enrich yourself,” the judge told Haymer. “Southern University trusted you, but you betrayed Southern University. You have victimized Southern University.”
Haymer is expected to be on probation for three years after his release from prison.
Haymer was accused of submitting false documents and forging invoices, several times between November 2016 and March 2018.
An audit found that Haymer used a third-party to collect public funds and kept $239,000, which was a violation of state and federal laws.
The state Legislative Auditor said in a 2019 report that Haymer used an unauthorized third party to collect public funds and kept about $293,000 in possible violation of state and federal laws.
Southern fired Haymer in 2018 after the discovery of improprieties.