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University President Draws 10 Years in Prison

September 19, 1989

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ The former president of Southeastern Oklahoma State University was sentenced to 10 years in prison today for defrauding the school of more than $3.4 million, including $39,000 spent on furniture for his home.

A federal jury convicted Leon Hibbs, 59, in July.

Hibbs asked for a community-service sentence. But U.S. District Judge Ralph Thompson said the former university president had his chance at public service and ″you exploited it.″

Hibbs was convicted of giving students on scholarship no-show jobs instead of paying them out of a scholarship fund. He then diverted money from the fund to friends and relatives and bought a trailer and furniture for his home, prosecutors said.

Hibbs repaid the money taken from the fund by putting family members and others on the state payroll in jobs that required little or no work and having their salaries deposited into the scholarship fund.

He was also convicted of conspiring to collect $90,000 in insurance on a race horse that never was sold for that amount.