MTSU campus outreach members charged with attempted theft

Published 9:00 am Thursday, August 31, 2023

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The Center Square

Three members of Campus Outreach at Middle Tennessee State University have been indicted for attempted theft, forgery and false entries in a government record after attempting to be reimbursed for a 2000 conference that was canceled due to COVID-19.

The charges came after an investigation from the Tennessee Comptrollers’ Office.

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Campus Outreach is a faith-based nonprofit that operates ministries on college campuses.

Greg McCall, John Thomas Farmer and Austin Smothers are accused of filing reimbursement for a New Year’s Conference in Gatlinburg that was ultimately canceled.

MTSU students who take seven or more credit hours of classes are required to pay a $40 student activities fee that goes to student organizations, including Campus Outreach.

“Investigators determined that McCall contacted the Campus Outreach Memphis office in early December 2020 and directed Campus Outreach’s credit card information to be entered on a document to indicate a $4,700 credit card purchase had occurred,” the Comptroller’s report said. “Campus Outreach Memphis personnel affirmed that no such expense was ever incurred, and that the document was created to induce MTSU to pay the $4,700 expense claim submitted by Campus Outreach at MTSU for the 2020 NYC event. Farmer and McCall advised that the claimed $4,700 amount was simply a repeat of the amount reimbursed for the 2019 NYC event.”