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AU employee sentenced for theft

Washington Post editors

A longtime American University employee was sentenced Wednesday to a year and a day in prison for stealing $400,000 from the school's law review and other journals over nearly seven years, U.S. Attorney for the District Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.

Martine Tavakoli, 50, of McLean, pleaded guilty in May to one count of interstate transportation of stolen property for opening a secret bank account near her home in Virginia and depositing checks intended for school publications including the American University Law Review for her personal use from 2003 to 2009.

She is also ordered to make full restitution.

Tavakoli, who worked for the university for nearly three decades, starting in 1981 as an administrative assistat for the law review and becoming coordinator of law journals in 1998, admitted steadily paying expenses such as rent and credit card bills when confronted by university authorities last September, Machen said.

Her case was before U.S. District Senior Judge Paul L. Friedman of the District.

This item has been updated since it was first published.

-- Spencer S. Hsu

By Washington Post editors  | September 22, 2010; 4:34 PM ET
Categories:  From the Courthouse, Spencer S. Hsu, The District  
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Comments

I would do a year for 400K....no problem.

Posted by: OldSalt8 | September 22, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Humm.. Only one year... who ever said crime doesn't pay sure lied!!!

Posted by: kendra2 | September 22, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Crime does not pay, when WHITE is RIGHT!!!

Posted by: 0126 | September 22, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

she stole for 6 years how did she only get 1 year. thats 67k/year extra income. and i cant find a job making 40k/year

Posted by: sekouhill | September 22, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

She isn't doing one year for $400k. She has to make full restitution. She'll probably get off early for good behavior. She's really doing six months for a interest-free loan.

Posted by: ricandersen | September 22, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

She's not getting away with anything. She has to make full restitution. In other words, she has to pay that money back. Her record is ruined now so she can get ready for a struggle to find a job after prison. A cousin of a friend of mine stole about 200k from an employer. They brought criminal charges against her and she had to agree to pay the money back to avoid jail time. She's still working to pay that money back. It sucks to be her right now. So crime STILL does not pay! lol

Posted by: greenbutterfly1973 | September 22, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Right, ricandersen and greenbutterfly1973! And how do these people think they can get away with it?

Posted by: DecafDrinker | September 22, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

How can they pay it back, who would hire a thief? Crime pay for them, if they get another job to pay the money back. How do they answer the question when seeking a job, have you ever been arrested, jail or prosecuted? Wow!

Posted by: drfields | September 22, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

How can they pay it back, who would hire a thief? Crime pay for them, if they get another job to pay the money back. How do they answer the question when seeking a job, have you ever been arrested, jail or prosecuted? Wow!

Posted by: drfields | September 22, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

This is inevitable, I know.

While I agree absolutely that this employee should be punished, I find it interesting that former AU president Benjamin Ladner stole a bunch of money from the university (improperly spent...) a few years ago and, though booted, was given a 3.75 million dollar severance package. I was a student at the time, paying over $400 to park and thousands to maintain my crappy student healthcare and his wife was spending $2,000 on private cars and drivers.

Posted by: hd4020a | September 22, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

to answer your question as to who would hire a thief drfield. dont make me laugh most of you hired a thief for 8 years in the white house

Posted by: sekouhill | September 23, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

to answer your question as to who would hire a thief drfield. dont make me laugh most of you hired a thief for 8 years in the white house

Posted by: sekouhill | September 23, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

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