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UK Employee Fired for Theft

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A UK employee has been fired for selling university property on eBay and committing fraud that is valued at more than $220,000.

While working as a business manager in the physics and astronomy department, Steven Ellis sold equipment worth $137,000 and misappropriated $87,000 in revenues, according to a report released by the Board of Trustees.  Ellis was fired in September before the investigation concluded.

Ellis sold a variety of expensive equipment on eBay, including:

  • Ellis sold 248 “clickers” for $3,200.
  • He made $41,317 selling a variety of calculators.
  • 30 Tektronix oscilloscopes were sold for $27,480.
  • 334 multimeters were sold for $49,856.
  • The department acquired 210 temperature probes; 89 were found unopened in a closet and 151 were sold, profiting $4,470.

Ellis also committed fraud when he required students to purchase the lab manual he authored.  According to school policy, the royalties must be donated back to the school.  After students purchased about 14,000 lab manuals he made $84,794.  The numbers are staggering.

On top of losing his job, the findings of Ellis’ investigation have been turned over to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

View the entire Herald-Leader Report.

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

9 Comments for UK Employee Fired for Theft



  1. david8577
    10:05 pm May 3, 2016 Permalink

    I’m so glad that UK is the type of university that fires people who commit crimes, or otherwise shame the university.



  2. Loother
    11:27 pm May 3, 2016 Permalink

    No doubt a Burney Zanders supporter…



    • Grassy_Knoll
      12:46 am May 4, 2016 Permalink

      Steve Ellis was a former Army Ranger who frequently made not so subtle remarks about immigrants and gave long speeches to every class that essentially amounted to “make America great again.” How’s that foot taste in your mouth?



  3. Angelo
    2:09 am May 4, 2016 Permalink

    Never take a government job, you will go Postal, like this guy…



  4. ukblue22
    7:00 am May 4, 2016 Permalink

    Someone needs to be fired besides the thief. These thefts do not occur if simple anti-fraud measures are in place. I’ve been working acquisition and accounting for 30 years and can tell you these are simple holes in the system that should have been filled 20 years ago.



    • ukjaybrat
      7:57 am May 4, 2016 Permalink

      Sometimes yes, sometimes no. could be a situation where he was taking advantage of a young employee that doesn’t want to disrupt the system.

      Or maybe acquisitions was too busy to question why a professor is ordered equipment. He did have a lab after all. Seems legit until we find out he sold all that crap.

      Not saying whoever ordered all that stuff shouldn’t at least get a slap on the wrist, but fired? i have to disagree on that one.(unless of course they knew what they were doing).



  5. yarg
    9:17 am May 4, 2016 Permalink

    I was curious, and this guy has a 2.0 rating on ratemyproffessors.com , with most students giving him a pretty terrible review. Looks like there are some fake all 5 reviews thrown in also.



  6. Go Deep
    9:48 am May 4, 2016 Permalink

    The real question is how do you sell 151 of 210 temperature probes and still have 89 left? Common core math maybe?



    • CPACAT
      1:03 pm May 4, 2016 Permalink

      Congrats “Go Deep”, you get my “Just Doesn’t Look Right, Numbers Don’t Foot” (or JDLRNDF) analyst of the week…congrats:)…tell your boss I said to give you a raise.