Scandal Rocks Harvard Theater Group
A scent of opprobrium has soiled the rarified atmosphere surrounding the Hasty Pudding Theatricals club at Harvard, which is in the midst of honoring its man and woman of the year, Bruce Willis (on Feb. 14) and Sarah Jessica Parker (Feb. 7, today). The New York Times reports that, according to prosecutors, two seniors from the university are accused of embezzling about $100,000 from the club, which is the oldest undergraduate theater organization in the country, with alumni including the late Jack Lemmon and Fred Gwynne. Harvard seniors and ex-high-ranking club members Suzanne M. Pommey (who coproduced last year's man and woman of the year ceremonies) and Randy J. Gomes (who codirected the 2001 events), both 21, pleaded not guilty to charges of grand larceny this week. Prosecutors, however, said the two have acknowledged their involvement in embezzling the money, using club credit cards to transfer money into their own bank accounts. According to The Times, Gomes blamed his actions on a drug habit that began his freshman year. Prosecutors said authorities were tipped off that something was wrong with the club's accounts by a student who noticed a $40,000 to $50,000 shortfall in the Hasty Pudding's bank balance. Club officials declined comment. A lawyer for Gomes told The Times his client "hopes to get this behind him as soon as possible and graduate from Harvard University."
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