KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A former University of Tennessee employee and alumni is facing wire fraud charges after he allegedly deposited $70,000 in donations for the university into his own account, according to court documents.
An unsealed indictment says that Andrew Shafer was charged with two counts of felony wire fraud on March 15, 2023. Shafer joined the College of Law at UT on August 1, 2020 to lead the fundraising efforts according to an article on UT’s website.
The article named Shafer as the Senior Director of Advancement for the College of Law and said that he had a bachelors degree in communication and masters degree in public administration from UT. The article added that he worked in “alumni and development roles” at the university between 2007 and 2012.
According to the indictment, Shafer allegedly deposited two checks, totaling $70,000 into his own accounts.
The indictment lists the first transaction as taking place around September 1, 2021, with a $50,000 check that was payable to the University of Tennessee Foundation, which was deposited using the internet to Shafer’s Fidelity Investments account. The second alleged transaction listed in the indictment took place around November 4, 2021, when a $20,000 check that was payable to the “University TN College of Law” was deposited into Shafer’s TD Ameritrade account using the internet.
According to an initial appearance document, Shafer appeared before a district court judge on March 23, 2023 and pled not guilty to the charges. The document says Shafer was remanded to custody and his jury trial is scheduled for May 30, 2023.
University of Tennessee’s online directory says that Shafer left UT on March 29, 2022. His directory listing says Shafer worked in “UTK Development – payroll.”