AUSTIN (KXAN) – Former University of Texas at Austin law school facilities director Jason Shoumaker pleaded guilty Thursday to theft of property, a second-degree felony, after stealing over $1 million from the school. He was sentenced to probation for a decade and ordered to pay restitution, among other conditions.
Though Shoumaker pleaded guilty to one charge of theft of $100,000 to $200,000, the judgement shows the full theft amount exceeded $1.2 million. Travis County District Judge Julie Kocurek placed Shoumaker on deferred adjudication. The court dismissed a first-degree felony charge of abuse of official capacity. Shoumaker must repay $150,000 to UT and do 200 hours of community service, according to the plea agreement.
Shoumaker’s attorney, Perry Minton, did not return a request for comment on the case.
Deferred adjudication is a type of probation ordered by a judge in which a defendant can accept responsibility for a crime without a conviction, according to the Texas Office of Court Administration. If Shoumaker completes his probation and all terms and conditions of the agreement, his case could be dismissed.
Authorities indicted Shoumaker, 43, in December 2018 on first degree felony charges of theft of property, money laundering and abuse of official capacity, according to court records. All counts combined could have carried a lifelong sentence in prison.
Shoumaker stole from UT from 2013 through August of 2017 by directing fraudulent payments through procurement cards, contracts, invoices and currency to several businesses, according to the indictment.
Shoumaker was employed by UT from 2007 to 2017. He was promoted to facilities manager of the law school in 2014 and earned $80,000 per year before his arrest. He was placed on administrative leave in July of 2017 and terminated in November 2017, according to a probable cause affidavit.
“In 2017, after the School of Law reported possible financial improprieties by staff member Jason Shoumaker, the university investigated and substantiated the concerns,” UT spokesperson Eliska Padilla said in a statement. “Following a comprehensive audit, the School of Law and university implemented detailed recommendations to strengthen fraud prevention and detection efforts and ensure that nothing of this kind happens again. Recovery of funds efforts are ongoing. The university will continue to pursue all avenues.”
Texas Rangers assisted investigating Shoumaker. During the time investigators say the fraud occurred, Shoumaker’s colleagues told police he was frequently absent and couldn’t be found at work. Police found credit card receipts showing Shoumaker logged work hours at the same time he was actually traveling and staying in hotels in Las Vegas, Northern California, Miami, the Texas coast, Mexico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to probable cause affidavits.
If Shoumaker handles money for an employer, he is required to disclose his deferred adjudication. Also, Shoumaker must disclose the probation to any entity he does business with if he’s paid more than $1,000, according to court records.