Law school dean forced students to give him extra scholarship money, Texas DA says

Chacour Koop

A former Texas Southern University law school dean was charged Monday in a theft scheme to steal scholarship money awarded to students, prosecutors say.

Edward Wayne Rene, 52, is accused of doubling tuition scholarships for at least two students, then forcing them to return the extra money to himself, according to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. He’s charged with theft by a public servant between $30,000 and $150,000. Prosecutors did not release how much money Rene is accused of stealing from the historically Black law school in Houston.

“The former TSU Law School Dean of Admissions masterminded a variety of schemes to steal money from the school by diverting student scholarship funds to himself. He abused his power for personal profit and his actions hurt the school and the students,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a news release.

The Texas Southern University board of regents took the case to the district attorney’s office, which then investigated with the FBI.

The criminal charge marks the latest in an scandal with allegations the National Jurist reports “rival the college admissions scandal that nabbed actress Felicity Huffman and others last year.”

TSU President Austin Lane was removed after accusations he didn’t report fraud in the admission process, the Associated Press reported.

According to an audit, Rene was paid $100,000 by four students to be enrolled and receive scholarships and some students got scholarships big enough to get “substantial refunds,” the AP reported.