39ºF

Nassar survivors did not make fraudulent claims for healing assistance fund money, police say

University suspending payments until investigation complete

A view of Spartan Stadium on Michigan State University's campus in East Lansing. (WDIV)
A view of Spartan Stadium on Michigan State University's campus in East Lansing. (WDIV)

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State University police are continuing their investigation into fraudulent claims filed for funds in the MSU Healing Assistance Fund, but they believe the fraudulent claims were not made by Nassar survivors.

"The investigation shows that no Nassar survivors who made criminal complaints or civil filings or their family members made any fraudulent claims for funds," said Captain Doug Monette, with Michigan State University police.

The fund was set up for counseling services for survivors of the now-imprisoned former sports doctor Larry Nassar. The university stopped payments in July so they could begin the investigation, according to MSU spokeswoman Emily Guerrant.

Guerrant released the following statement on Friday:

"The MSU Healing Assistance Fund was created to support the resources needed for survivors’ recovery and healing, specifically counseling and mental health services that are not covered by insurance. The fraud concerns brought to our attention this summer were alarming. We want to ensure these funds were being distributed appropriately so it is important to allow the MSU Police Department time to complete a thorough investigation.

During this time, we have also decided to part ways with the fund administrator. We feel a different administrator will provide better oversight to the fund.

While the investigation is ongoing, the fund has remained frozen to avoid interference and to prevent any more fraudulent activities from accessing funds that should be going to those who need it most. We apologize for any delay this may cause survivors in getting support and help."

"Due to an investigation into fraudulent claims made to the Healing Assistance Fund, the university is suspending payments until the investigation is complete. Please check back to this website for future updates," reads the Healing Assistance Fund page on MSU's website.

READMichigan State University stops Nassar victims' payments amid fraud worries

According to Guerrant, the fund had distributed more than $1.1 million as of June 30.

On Sept. 4, John Manly, who represents many Nassar survivors, posted the following to Twitter:

"There appears to be significant fraudulent financial claims made for reimbursement by the fund and payouts for those claims," Dunlap said in a Sept. 19 release.

The investigation is expected to continue.

Nassar

Nassar is serving a 60-year sentence in federal prison on child pornography charges. When that sentence is finished, he will have to return to Michigan to serve sentences for sex crimes.

Nassar admitted to sexually abusing underage girls and received a sentence of 40 to 175 years in Ingham County. That sentence will run concurrently with a 40 to 125-year sentence he received in Eaton County.

During sentencing in Michigan, nearly 200 girls and women made victim impact statements.


About the Author: