RALEIGH, N.C. — The North Carolina State University police are currently investigating a former women’s basketball official for allegations of embezzlement.
Michael John Murray, former director of operations for the women’s basketball team, is being investigated for potentially pocketing more than $1,000 in tips that should have gone to one of the team’s bus drivers.
When asked if Murray was still with NC State, senior associate athletic director Fred Demarest told the Raleigh News and Observer that he is not.
“Mike is no longer on our staff,” Demarest said on Friday afternoon.
According to the Raleigh News and Observer, Karla Leniece Crockett, who works for Academy Bus LLC, a private company contracted by the athletic department, has been driving regularly with the team since 2015. According to a search warrant from the Wake County Clerk of Courts Office, she never received a tip from Murray on multiple team trips, including airport transfers.
In the search warrant application, Kaylla McNeill, one of the campus detectives, said that “she (Crockett) was concerned that her performance as a driver may not have been up to standard and expressed her concerns to an administrative employee.”
The concern was passed along to the school’s internal audit division, and after an internal audit suspected forgery. According to the warrant, they contacted campus police on Feb. 6. Also in the search warrant, McNeill stated that investigators found multiple forgeries of Crockett’s name through photocopying and tracing on multiple forms.
When shown the forms, Crockett identified “multiple signatures of her name which she confirmed she did not sign”, and told police that the dollar amounts shown on paper were not consistent with the tips she received from Murray.
Investigators think at this point that Murray may have taken money that should have been going to the team driver.
In the search warrant, McNeill stated that “up to this point in the investigation, it is estimated that Murray has embezzled at least $1,070 from N.C. State University Athletics.”
Some important dates
- Murray was hired as the director of operations for the women’s basketball program on April 6, 2013, and oversaw the daily operations of the Wolfpack women’s program. Murray was given travel advances for every game, ranging from $350 to $6,000 after the administrator submitted a travel advance request each game.
- Campus police think that the embezzlement potentially started in 2015 and continued until Jan. 18 of this year, when Murray submitted more documents with Crockett’s signature.
- According to the search warrant, investigators seized a black Sentry safe container, invoices from October 2016 through January 2018, two binders, a legal pad with handwritten notes for the team’s 2017-18 travel budget, and team travel packets from October 2013 to April 2017 that contained receipts and travel advance documentation.