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UND Student Body Treasurer arrested on suspicion of embezzlement

Chase Alexander Johnson

The treasurer of UND Student Government has been arrested for alleged embezzlement from the coffers of his fraternity house.

Chase Alexander Johnson, 23, was arrested Thursday afternoon by UND Police and faces a Class B felony charge of theft. A criminal affidavit accuses Johnson of stealing between $10,000 and 50,000 from the house through “unauthorized control over a fraternity credit card and accounts.”

In addition to his role in Student Government, Johnson was a former treasurer of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity on the UND campus. A release from UND Police said officers searched the fraternity house to investigate allegations that Johnson had misappropriated funds there.

Their findings led to Johnson’s arrest and charges.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Johnson is a finance student with an interest in pursuing an advanced degree in either business or law. His profile says he was a congressional intern with Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., for nearly two years.

Cole Bachmeier, student body president, said he became aware of the arrest Thursday. Bachmeier served previously as president of Phi Delta Theta and knows Johnson from the fraternity. He’s listed among a group of witnesses for the prosecution in Johnson’s case.

Bachmeier said the former treasurer had “been removed from all financial access and all Student Government in general” after word of the arrest got out.

As treasurer, Johnson would have had close contact with the Student Government budget, a funds that total about $550,000. Bachmeier said he’s seen “nothing to indicate there’s been misappropriation” of student fees under Johnson’s watch.

“We have at least three or four sets of eyes” on the budget on a regular basis, Bachmeier said, “so there’s no real concern on that front.”  

The university has begun an internal auditing process to ensure the funds are accounted for.

Andrew Haffner

Andrew Haffner covers higher education and general assignment stories for the Grand Forks Herald. He attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where he studied journalism, political science and international studies. He previously worked at the Dickinson Press.

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