UI police seek student charged with theft of funds
Editor's note: The charge in this case was subsequently dropped. Here is the report of that decision.
URBANA — University of Illinois police are looking for a UI student charged with allegedly stealing from a campus organization of which he was a member.
Kelis D. King, 22, whose last known address was in the 600 block of North Randolph Street, Champaign, was charged in late April with felony theft.
A summons was mailed to him to come to court Tuesday, but court records show King was not found. When he didn't appear in court, Judge John Kennedy issued a warrant for his arrest.
King is charged with a single count of theft between $500 and $10,000, alleging that sometime around Nov. 1, 2013, he spent on himself about $5,500 that was intended for use by the student chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants.
UI police Detective Laura Tison said the treasurer of that organization went to the Office of Student Conflict Resolution in February complaining that King, the president of the group, was not giving the group an explanation of what happened to the money.
Tison said the money, which apparently came from outside sponsors of the group, was intended for members to take a trip at the end of the 2013-2014 school year. The treasurer reportedly told King he didn't feel comfortable having that much in his personal account and asked King to shepherd it.
Tison explained that money for registered student groups funnels through the UI. The university, she said, allows officers of registered student organizations to deposit money into personal bank accounts to do business on behalf of their groups.
The $5,500 was put in King's personal bank account on Oct. 31. The next day, he allegedly withdrew $2,600 in cash and continued, until late February, to spend money that was in the account without apparently saving any.
"It zeroed out," Tison said of the balance in King's account.
When fellow organization members inquired about the money at a February meeting, King reportedly told them "the situation was being handled, but no one knew what that meant," the report said.
Police obtained court-ordered copies of King's bank and credit card accounts and concluded that purchases he made were not for the accounting organization.
King just completed his junior year in accounting.
Theft over $500 is a Class 3 felony carrying penalties ranging from probation to two to five years in prison.