Tyrone Hankerson Jr., the infamous student caught up in the financial aid embezzlement scandal at Howard University, is claiming his innocence.
Hankerson was accused of misappropriating thousands of dollars while he worked at the financial aid office as undergraduate student at HU. He is alleged to have stolen $429,000 from funds earmarked for financial aid.
He also became a viral sensation this week after his Instagram showcased his affinity for designer clothing, and taste for expensive items — a fact many found funny given the accusations aimed at him.
Through a statement released by his lawyer, Hankerson says that he did “nothing illegal or wrong. When the truth comes out, it will be confirmed that I followed all rules and protocol with the approval of the, then, financial aid officers in any grants, scholarships or awards given to me as a student who attended class all year round and traveled abroad.”
“Please also know that I would never do anything to hurt an institution I love so much or the thousands of students who are a part of the Howard University Family that I had the privilege to serve during my undergraduate experience at Howard,” he said. “It is very sad that in an attempt to attack the current leadership of the school, a portion of my financial profile was illegally shared with media outlets, without any conversation or approval from me or my legal team.”
The school is currently embroiled in a scandal after a whistleblower accused financial aid officials of misappropriating funds earmarked for low-income students. A university investigation discovered that from 2007 to 2016, employees who received tuition benefits to cover the cost of taking classes were also receiving university grants, according to news reports.
Hankerson also sat down with Roland Martin to tell his story on Thursday.
Current Howard students continue to protest the school’s response to the scandal.