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Administrator Creates Bogus University Scholarship, Diverts Money To Pay Off Gambling Debt

Former Employee Faces Up To Five Years In Prison, $250K Fine

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An administrator at a fundraising organization that benefits the University of Hawaii system used his position to write a phony scholarship for the Manoa campus and then siphoned off the money to pay back $2,000 to his bookie.

According to Hawaii News Now, Dodge Watson pleaded guilty to one count of identity theft in district court Friday morning. His plea allowed him to avoid charges for money laundering and running an internet gambling business.

“He created a scholarship at his job at the UH and basically diverted the money from the scholarship to pay off his gambling debt,” his attorney Eric Seitz said.

The University of Hawaii Foundation is “the central fundraising organization for the UH system,” its website states. The UH Foundation is a legally separate entity from the University of Hawaii, but its work is “exclusively for the benefit of the university.”

Watson will be sentenced Sep. 15. He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The UH Foundation called Watson’s crime “an isolated incident.”

Watson’s family said that he has a serious gambling problem.

 
 
Tags: Gambling Debt,   Hawaii