University Press

FAU police: Former rec center student employee allegedly scammed schoolmate out of more than $1,400

The student was first contacted through an Instagram direct message.

Damian+Francois.+Photo+courtesy+of+Palm+Beach+County+Sheriff%27s+Office.+
Damian Francois. Photo courtesy of Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

Damian Francois. Photo courtesy of Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

Damian Francois. Photo courtesy of Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

Joe Pye and Thomas Chiles

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






When FAU student Damian Francois direct messaged a female student over Instagram on Jan. 19, 2016, he didn’t want to hang out or hook up — he planned to clean out her bank account, FAU police records said.

The former Boca campus rec center employee was arrested on July 20, 2017. He is facing fraud and grand theft charges, according to online court records and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. Francois told the student he could get her a free loan with her bank, but instead drained her account of all its money.

University police filed subpoenas for cell phone records between the suspect and victim and found enough evidence to arrest Francois. He was positively identified after the victim was shown a photo lineup, according to FAU police records.

On Feb. 6, 2016, university police officer William Hernandez responded to the school police department, where he met the victim. According to FAU police, the female student told Hernandez that she was a victim of a fraud incident.

She alleged that another student set her up for fraud and that she could prove it through records of their communication, police records said.

Francois asked the victim via Instagram if she was interested in making some extra money. FAU police records state that he told her he knew a way to manipulate her bank, Citibank, into giving her a free loan of over $3,500 – $6,200.

The victim sent text messages and emails with her personal financial information to Francois and another unnamed suspect, according to university police. Francois assured her that the loan would be in her account in a few days.

After gaining access to the account, Francois and his accomplice created both fraudulent checking and savings accounts and deposited fraudulent checks into the checking account,  FAU police records said.

In one instance on Jan. 21, 2016, they deposited $3,580.23 of a check made payable to the victim’s name.

Francois and his associate withdrew $1,420 in cash from various ATMs, FAU police records show. The victim contacted the suspects when she checked her account, which had a negative $800 balance.

The suspects began ignoring the victim’s text messages and phone calls and blocked her from their social media accounts. After a few days of being ignored, she made contact with FAU police to file a report on Feb. 6, 2016.

The University Press found records of a separate grand theft charge filed against Francois on April 8, 2016, alleging that he stole an iPhone 6 while working in the rec center.

The unidentified suspect’s identity and arrest records are currently unavailable to view. Francois’ bonds totaled $6,000 and he was released on July 20, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

He has a court date set for Aug. 24 at Palm Beach Court’s main courthouse at 205 N. Dixie Highway.

Francois is not allowed on FAU or Citibank property and can not make contact with the victim or co-defendant.

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

Thomas Chiles is the features editor of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @thomas_iv.

About the Writers
Joe Pye, Senior Writer
Joe is a senior English major and has previously served as news editor of the UP. He hopes to one day be the editor of his own web publication covering South Florida politics, music and business. When Joe is not in the newsroom, he is freelance writing or playing one of his guitars.
Thomas Chiles, Features Editor
Thomas is a senior multimedia journalism major. He started at the Owl Radio news show before joining the UP as a contributing writer. You will most likely catch him reading the New York Times on his phone or keeping up with the latest Miami Heat news.
Leave a Comment

Do you have something to say? Submit your comments below

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • FAU police: Former rec center student employee allegedly scammed schoolmate out of more than $1,400

    Crime

    Second suspect gets 19 years for role in 2015 UPark shooting

  • FAU police: Former rec center student employee allegedly scammed schoolmate out of more than $1,400

    Crime

    FAU police: Man brings BB gun into Parliament Hall

  • FAU police: Former rec center student employee allegedly scammed schoolmate out of more than $1,400

    Crime

    Boca police: FAU fraternity treasurer charged with grand theft of $18,000

  • FAU police: Former rec center student employee allegedly scammed schoolmate out of more than $1,400

    Crime

    2016 Boca campus dating violence nearly 4 times higher than previous year

  • FAU police: Former rec center student employee allegedly scammed schoolmate out of more than $1,400

    Crime

    University Park shooter faces 48 years for killing FAU student

  • FAU police: Former rec center student employee allegedly scammed schoolmate out of more than $1,400

    Crime

    Q&A: Sean Brammer named chief of university police

  • FAU police: Former rec center student employee allegedly scammed schoolmate out of more than $1,400

    Crime

    Fraud Watch: Scam artists are everywhere, including this university

  • FAU police: Former rec center student employee allegedly scammed schoolmate out of more than $1,400

    Crime

    Boca police: Alleged hit-and-run driver who put FAU student in coma arrested

  • FAU police: Former rec center student employee allegedly scammed schoolmate out of more than $1,400

    Crime

    Boca police officer suffered head injury during 20th Street search, suspect identified

  • FAU police: Former rec center student employee allegedly scammed schoolmate out of more than $1,400

    Crime

    FAU police: student arrested, accused of battery on an FAU police officer