We haven’t seen a good Student Bar Association scandal in a while, but that’s all about to change. In case you’re not aware, the law students who are elected to serve on their school’s SBA are tasked with organizing fun events that will make their peers happy, and those events usually cost a lot of money. What can I say, alcohol and vomit clean-up fees are expensive.
So understandably, when that beer money starts to get mysteriously low — in this case, to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars inexplicably missing — people start to panic. At what point do you realize the girl responsible for managing your organization’s finances has embezzled more than $30,000?
Probably when she admits to you that she spent the cash to fuel her drug and alcohol addiction…
Coming to you straight from the Lego Law School (more commonly known as the University of Baltimore School of Law), we’ve got the tale of Margaret Oyler. She was elected to the position of SBA treasurer in the spring of 2010, held the position through April 2012, and stole funds from the student organization throughout her reign by providing false financial statements to the rest of the SBA executive board during each accounting period. By all accounts, it sounds like she would’ve been one hell of a lawyer.
In total, Oyler managed to yoink $33,000 from right under the SBA’s nose over a two-year period without anyone ever noticing until a changing of the student government’s guard. A tipster notes that the SBA informed the Baltimore Law administration of Oyler’s embezzlement in April 2012, but formal charges weren’t brought until more than a year later. Sorry, but wouldn’t it have been more intelligent to bring criminal charges against a student back then, rather than during a time when you’re trying to generate positive publicity for a $119 million building that would make even Nathan Sawaya cringe?
Here’s Maggie Oyler’s case information, including the crime she was charged with:
Yesterday, Oyler pleaded guilty before a Baltimore judge to the theft of $33,000. As part of a deal, she was given a five-year suspended sentence and three years of probation, and she must pay $33,000 in restitution. A tipster reports that Oyler’s parents are loaded, and they put thousands of dollars in an escrow account for her restitution. “Had it not been for the escrow account, I would imagine that such a lenient plea deal would not have been offered,” notes a source from UB Law.
When asked for comment, a law school spokeswoman assured the public that Oyler never graduated and that the dean of students would work with student clubs “to help improve their financial oversight.” And by “help,” we presume this means the school will now rule over the SBA and other clubs with a
Bogomolnyian iron fist. If you’re wondering why Oyler didn’t graduate, it’s not just because of this embezzlement scandal. A tipster claims that this financial femme fatale was suspended around the same time her thievery was discovered for a matter “regarding a letter of recommendation and a misrepresentation of her grades” — as if her grades matter now that she’s a convicted criminal.
The Baltimore Sun snagged an interview with Oyler after she entered her guilty plea:
In an interview, Oyler said the thefts happened during “an extremely dark period in my life.”
She said she used some of the money to feed her alcohol and prescription painkiller habits. Her probation will include substance abuse treatment, Oyler said.
“It wasn’t just like one day I woke up and decided, ‘Let’s do this,’ ” Oyler said. “I can’t describe in words where your head goes. … Everything that I’m trying to do is trying to right this wrong and correct this mistake.” …
“I made a confession to [the SBA president], but I don’t remember … because I was so drunk,” Oyler added.
We’re glad that Oyler will get the help she needs, but it’s a shame that it took three years of law school and a foray into the criminal justice system to get her life in order. Think about that for a second: three years of debt, all for nothing, and with nary a lesson learned from her first-year criminal law course.
Well, we guess she did learn one thing: voluntary intoxication is not a defense to crime. Cheers!
UPDATE (3:00 p.m.): We spoke to Maggie Oyler this afternoon, and here’s what she had to say about her legal wranglings:
I am grateful for the opportunity to repair the damage that I have caused financially, and the chance to make sincere amends to the students and the institution that I have harmed. I look forward to a happy, sober life both personally and professionally.
UB Student Bar treasurer stole $33,000 from organization [Baltimore Sun]