Details of Theft Emerge
Two Pudding members allegedly stole over $100,000
Suzanne M. Pomey ’02 and Randy J. Gomes ’02 stole more than $100,000 from the Hasty Pudding Theatricals’ accounts, Theatricals executives told company members at a secretive emergency meeting on Wednesday, said sources within the Pudding.
The two will be arraigned tomorrow in Middlesex County Superior Court. They each face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
Pomey produced the Theatricals’ 2001 show and was business manager of the 2000 production. Gomes was only a business staff member for only one year, helping to organize the high-profile Man and Woman of the Year awards.
But the indictment shows that the withdrawal of funds continued for more than a year, from March 2000 through June 2001, even after Pomey’s term as producer finished in April of that year. Producers have full access to Theatricals finances, sources within the Pudding said, explaining that certain financial information is known only to producers.
According to an internal e-mail obtained by The Crimson, the discrepencies in the Theatricals’ finances were first discovered by Lena Demashkieh ’03 and Joshua N. Bress ’02, the producers of this year’s musical.
In the e-mail sent on Friday, Demashkieh, Bress and Alumni Liason Kevin E. Meyers ’02, who is also a Crimson editor, informed Theatricals alumni of the alleged theft.
They added that they have already changed their financial practices to prevent any future attempts to steal from the Theatricals.
“[We] have taken steps to revise our accounting procedures so that something of this nature can never happen again,” the e-mail said.
Harvard’s Office of Risk Management and Audit Services (RMAS) has advised the current Theatricals leadership and their graduate board, the producers wrote to alumni.
RMAS is the University’s internal consulting firm that works with administrators, Faculty and staff to assure compliance with regulations and sound accounting procedures. A search of the RMAS website found no mention of dealings with student organizations.
Demashkieh and Bress added in the e-mail to alumni that they are convinced that Pomey and Gomes acted alone.
“These students acted entirely independently of any other company members, including their fellow producer and business managers,” the e-mail said.
They also told alumni they “have strong reason to believe that most of the stolen money will be returned,” but did not say what information caused this expectation.
The producers had consulted with their board of alumni before reporting the alleged crimes to the Harvard University Police Department in September or to University administators, the e-mail said.
The graduate board was completely restructured after the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) acquired the building from the Institute of 1770 in 2000. The Institute was a graduate board composed of alumni of the Theatricals, the Hasty Pudding Social Club and the a capella groups the Krokodiloes and the Pitches.
With the FAS acquisition of the Holyoke Street building, the graduate board lost much of its direct financial control of Theatricals activities.
The acting president of the graduate board could not be reached for comment last night.
Serveral Theatricals alumni refused comments yesterday.
“At this time I have no comment,” wrote last year’s president of the Theatricals Christopher M. Hans ’01 in an e-mail.
Demashkieh and Bress also told alumni in the e-mail that they are satisfied with the investigation.
Several Theatricals executives and members of the business staff did not respond to repeated calls.
President of the Theatricals Gregory C. Padgett ’02 refused to comment, saying it was “the official position of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals not to comment.”
But he said that Pudding members might attend Pomey’s and Gomes’ arraignments tomorrow.
“It’s a public arraignment. I’m sure many people will be there,” Padgett said.
Pomey and Gomes are required by law to attend their arraignments in person.
The e-mail also reassured alumni that recent successes would allow Theatricals activities—including the upcoming Man and Woman of the Year awards and the drag musical “Snow Place Like Home”— to continue unaffected.
“The Hasty Pudding Theatricals has fortunately enjoyed great financial success in the last five years, and as a result this theft will not impact this show or future shows,” the message said.
Meanwhile, the executive board of the Theatricals broke their public silence on Saturday, issuing a brief statement to the media saying that the allegedly withdrawn funds would not affect their current or future productions.
—Staff writer Stephanie M. Skier can be reached at email@example.com.