When the Fraternity Management Association stopped operations in March 2014, 13 fraternities and two sororities lost money and were left with unresolved financial situations.
On April 7, Albert Fisher was indicted for conspiring to defraud fraternities and sororities at Lehigh University, according to court documents. Albert Fisher was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of wire fraud and five counts of subscribing to false tax returns. Albert Fisher was also charged with aiding and abetting.
Albert Fisher was an employee of the Fraternity Management Association, a company that provided 15 Greek chapters on Lehigh’s campus with financial management services. Albert Fisher was also the founder of a fictitious consulting company, Fisher and Associates, which was the sole client of Fraternity Management Association, according to the documents.
His wife, Elizabeth Fisher, was the executive director of the Fraternity Management Association between 2009 and 2013, the period in which they allegedly conspired to take money intended for use by fraternities and sororities as payment for food services and other expenses and spent it on personal purchases.
Albert Fisher and his wife purchased $1,461,777.96 in vacation expenses, home furnishings and designer clothing with funds from the Fraternity Management Association.
Albert Fisher failed to report the money he had spent on these purchases in his income tax returns in addition to the $614,398 paid by the Fraternity Management Association, authorized by his wife, for his consulting services.
According to the documents, Elizabeth Fisher was responsible for sending fraternities and sororities emailed statements that included the funds that each organization had left in their accounts. In her statements, she assured members that the company was financially sound.
In March 2014, the Fraternity Management Association stopped operating because of financial insolvency. Alpha Tau Omega, Chi Phi, Delta Phi, Kappa Alpha, Kappa Sigma, Lambda Chi Alpha, Pi Kappa Alpha, Pi Kappa Theta, Psi Upsilon, Sigma Chi, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Theta Chi, Theta Xi, Alpha Phi and Gamma Phi Beta had used the services of the Fraternity Management Association. The chapters were unable to pay for food services, philanthropy events, date parties and formals. These fraternities and sororities are working to pay back the money they owe to food vendors.
Ashley Baudouin, the director of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, declined to comment on the charges.
Lehigh was also named as a victim in this case. Since chapters lost their chefs and food delivery services, the university provided students who lived in the fraternity and sorority houses with meal plans. This cost the university $990,157.
According to the United States Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, if Fisher is convicted, he faces a maximum possible sentence of 50 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release, restitution, a possible fine and a $700 special assessment.
The case was investigated by Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Allentown Resident Agency and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John Gallagher.