Lee Confesses to Stealing $120K

Eliot Alum Sent to Prison for One Year for 'Evening With Champions' Thefts

Charles K. Lee '93 was sentenced to a year in prison yesterday after admitting he stole almost $120,000 which he helped raise for a children's cancer charity while running an Eliot House ice skating show.

Lee, who reversed a not guilty plea he entered last August, was sentenced to a 4-5 years in jail, including one year he will be expected to serve.

The recent alum was also placed on three to 10 years probation and will be required to perform community service and make full restitution for the money he stole.

An Evening With Champions is an Eliot House-organized ice skating exhibition benefiting the Jimmy Fund, which finances children's cancer research and treatment at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

Jimmy Fund officials said yesterday that they believed justice was served by Lee's sentence.

"The resolution of this case, which includes a commitment to restore funds intended for cancer research and patient care, is fair and appropriate," said Mike Andrews, executive director of the Jimmy Fund, in a statement yesterday. "It sends a clear signal that...misuse of philanthropic dollars will not be tolerated."

At a hearing at Middlesex District Court yesterday morning, Assistant District Attorney Martin F. Murphy said Lee used the pilfered money for his personal expenses and credit card payments.

Among the expenditures that Lee subsidized with Jimmy Fund money were telephone calls, travel, stereo equipment and clothing from stores such as The Andover Shop and Eddie Bauer, Murphy said.

Lee held check-signing power for the Eliot House Jimmy Fund accounts from March 1992 through June 1993.

During that time, Murphy said, Lee wrote himself 83 checks from the Eliot House accounts.

The dollar value of the checks ranged from $50 to $7862, Murphy said. Leewrote himself 33 checks for more than $1000 and 12checks for more than $4000.

According to indictment records, Lee never wentmore than 26 days without writing himself anothercheck for more than $250. He had a high of 10checks in June 1992 and a low of one check inDecember 1992, February 1993 and April 1993.

Altogether Lee embezzled $119,881.26, more thanenough to pay for the entire cost of a life-savingbone marrow transplant, a Dana-Farber spokespersonsaid.

"On many separate occasions," Murphy said,"[Lee] made a decision...that it was moreimportant that he take money for clothing orstereo equipment rather than give it to the JimmyFund."

End of the Road