Addiction to heroin led former University of South Carolina employee Lawrence Godwin III to steal some $179,000 from the university during 2005 and 2006, Godwin admitted in open court Tuesday.
“I’m extremely sorry,” said Godwin, 35, a once highly trusted accountant who worked at USC from February 2002 until June 2006, when his thefts were discovered. They were made public in March when The State newspaper learned of the charges.
According to warrants in the case, Godwin had stolen some $151,000 in cash deposited by students, faculty and staff into on-campus Carolina Card ATMs machines. He also forged checks and made improper charges on his USC Visa card. At the time, he worked in USC’s finance office.
An internal audit uncovered the thefts and led to Godwin’s arrest. As an accountant/fiscal analyst with USC, Godwin made between $34,000 and $38,000 annually, university officials said.
Goodwin’s admission and apology came during his formal guilty plea Tuesday before Circuit Judge Casey Manning at the Richland County courthouse.