An audit is questioning $300,459 worth of university band money deposited into the personal bank accounts of former Southern University band director Nathan Haymer.
The audit was released to the WBRZ Investigative Unit as part of the watchdog journalism team’s ongoing series of reports about Haymer. Haymer was fired months ago after a previous WBRZ story about questions related to payments made directly to him by Mardi Gras parade krewes where the band played.
Of the $300,459 Haymer deposited into his personal bank accounts, $41,081 was funneled back to Southern University.
The $41,081 was paid to Southern in two cashier’s checks.
The more than quarter-of-a-million dollar sum is money collected from high school band camp, Dancing Dolls tryouts and fees paid by band members. The audit revealed much of the money was unaccounted for – $226,426.
The audit conducted by the school spanned now back to 2015.
It found in 2015, Haymer set up an internet-based service for collecting fees and information about participants in band activities. Approximately $85,000 was deposited into accounts controlled by the university.
But, “during the month of July 2015 until May 2018, [Haymer] initiated changes with the cloud-based service, instructing the service to either make checks payable to [himself] or wire transfer the funds into two… personal bank accounts.”
Auditors said Haymer’s attorney provided bank documents but the paperwork was incomplete of the scope of the inquiry and could not be verified because there was no supporting documentation or details.
The investigation covered approximately 25,000 emails and financial statements. A copy of the audit was turned over to the district attorney over possible misappropriation of funds.
Haymer has two attorneys – his brother, Niles Haymer, and Karl Bernard.
Bernard said Thursday, “The allegations are false. We are working with the board to resolve all of this. It’s not as plain and simple on the surface.”
When asked if Haymer deposited money into his personal accounts, Bernard said yes.
“There is more to this issue than meets the eye. The devil is in the details. We are going through the bank records to determine the expenses.”
Earlier this year, WBRZ reported Haymer was at the center of allegations he took kickbacks from krewes to schedule the world-famous Human Jukebox band to perform at events. Then, sources told the WBRZ Investigative Unit Haymer told krewes to make checks payable to him. Krewes included New Orleans’ Zulu, Bacchus and Femme Fatale.