Former Controller’s Office employee facing charges of third-degree grand theft

Police say Travis Barber embezzled $3,591 from the university while working in Student Services.

Photo+of+Travis+Barber+courtesy+of+Palm+Beach+County+Sheriff%27s+Office

Photo of Travis Barber courtesy of Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office

Joe Pye, News Editor

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rom May 2014 to August 2016, Travis Barber worked at the Florida Atlantic Controller’s Office. He had an employee scholarship to pay for school, until he had to start paying out of pocket — the university’s pocket, that is, according to FAU police reports on the incident.

Barber is set to meet at the 15th Judicial Circuit Court of Palm Beach on Jan. 31, after pleading not guilty to charges of grand theft of the third degree for writing fraudulent checks to pay his own class tuition while working as a fiscal assistant in the Controller’s Office.

He was transported to Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office by the FAU Police Department, booked on Nov. 8, 2016 and released the next day.

Barber’s duties as a fiscal assistant were to oversee online check payments that were rejected by Bank of America, bill students back and report them to his supervisor.

He wrote a check for his tuition in the amount of $2,295.82 on May 16, 2016 and again on July 29, for $2,899.69. Both checks were rejected by the bank and not recorded with the office.

“Barber stated that he hoped that he would be able to pay the money back to the University at a later date,” according to a police report on the incident. “Barber acknowledged that what he did was wrong, but attributed the incident to him being broke and embarrassed.”

Marcia Blake, FAU tuition and billing services manager in the Controller’s Office, noticed Barber had written the two checks and both had bounced.  

The Controller’s Office held Barber’s last paycheck in the amount of $1,603.17 to cover some of the losses, leaving the university responsible for $3,591.81.

Blake refused to comment to the University Press on the story due to university policy on pending litigation. The UP also reached out to Barber, who refused to comment.

Barber paid all money owed back to the university on Oct. 26, 2016.

Grand Theft of the Third-Degree in Florida is punishable of 5 years of probation and a $5,000 fine, or up to five years in prison.

Joe Pye is the news editor of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @jpeg3189.