Woman stole $235,000 from her sorority sisters, which isn’t all that uncommon
Despite women in sororities calling themselves sisters, this Alabama woman stole $235,000 from her Gamma Phi Beta chapter at the University of Alabama. That is a lot of freaking cash, but sorority members and alum actually steal from their adopted fam all the time. This most recent case involves Jennifer Meehan, a 40-year-old lawyer, who was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Madeline Haikala to six months in prison and slapped with a $50,000 fine. Meehan was also ordered to do 18 months of home confinement and 40 months of supervised probation. In addition to that, she has to do eight hours a week of community service while on confinement and probation and participate in a mental health program.
The mental health program is based on the fact that there was no real reason to take the money, which was meant for home furnishings for the chapter house. Meehan says she put the cash — in a shoebox, no less — away for the scholarship program and other sorority expenses. Judge Haikala wasn’t buying that though. “This is extremely bizarre conduct,” the judge said.
All of this happened between 2013 and 2015 while Meehan was the president, as an older alum, of the House Corporation Board — a volunteer job. The house is a $14 million dollar home, and it was her job to furnish it. She submitted fraudulent invoices for furniture and was reimbursed by the Greek Resource Services (GRS).
The GRS then drew money from Gamma Phi Beta’s account at the Bank of Tuscaloosa, giving her two checks for a total of $375,000. Meehan put it in the sorority’s bank account but then wired most of it to her personal account. She isn’t in debt or do drugs or anything. She just took it.
But this happens all the time when it comes to university Greek life. And some, like Meehan, do it even when they’re volunteering as an alum. Here are some other examples of women gone wild with their sisters’ cash.
Iowa State University — Chi Omega
Again, this is an older member, which just floors me. Andrea Baker, 50, was the treasurer of the Chi Omega Alumnae Association between 2000 and 2014. She plead guilty this summer to mail fraud and stealing around $950,000 from the group. She would use sorority checks to pay for personal credit card bills and also just dumped cash into her own account. Baker also admitted to fudging the records to cover up her theft. She got two years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
University of Toledo — Pi Beta Phi
This time, an unnamed advisor embezzled $13,000 from her undergrad chapter. She admitted to it, according to a 2013 police report, but it must have been settled on campus, because she didn’t get any time. In this case, she was forging letters to charities to make it look like she was donating cash to her sisters, when really, she just took it.
University of Memphis — Pi Beta Phi
Looks like more than one Pi Beta Phi girl is a crook. In 2013, Brittaney Hicks forged more than 33 checks totaling $30,000 and deposited them in her account. She was given a few chances by her forgiving sisters to pay it back, but never did and landed in jail. Her sorority sisters told a local ABC affiliate at the time that they would have tried to help her raise cash if she was really broke. Because, you know, sisterhood.
People can be terrible, even if they’re the BFF/”big sister” who hazed and mocked you for weeks and then made you pay money for the privilege of being besties. At least ask for the receipts.