(from Nonprofit Quarterly) Arthur Lamar Adams, a $400,000 donor to the University of Mississippi’s Athletic Foundation, has been convicted of running a Ponzi scheme that apparently netted around $100 million. Now, although no one suggests that the university or the foundation had any knowledge of the scheme, $310,000 of that money, donated over a ten-year period, must be returned to a receiver who is been appointed to retrieve as much of investors’ money as possible. These kinds of involvements with philanthropies are not unusual for fraudsters; giving philanthropically allows them to be seen as a co-investing peer, creating social capital over time.
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