Warrant: NC State professor gave embezzled money to student for Prius, trailer

Charles Whisnant

RALEIGH, N.C. – An N.C. State University associate professor charged with embezzling money from student organizations was sending money to a former PhD student to help pay for a Toyota Prius, a trailer, and for her medical expenses, according to search warrants.

Charles Whisnant, a former associate professor of Animal Science at N.C. State, is accused of stealing more than $70,000 for personal use from three student clubs he advised.

According to the search warrant, Whisnant told an investigator from the N.C. State Police that he withdrew the money to help a former PhD student, Lisa McPhatter.

According to the search warrant, the investigator said, “He said that he felt sorry for her due to all her medical issues. He stated that her car had broken down and it could not be fixed.”

The search warrant said Whisnant wired the former student $14,000 to purchase a 2015 Toyota Prius.

“He stated that the other monies went to pay for her medical expenses and her trailer,” the search warrant said.

Whisnant resigned from his position a day before his arrest.  He turned himself in at the Wake County Magistrates’ office Feb. 10.

The warrants say a student told police she “thought he was paying for a love child but was not sure.”

Whisnant’s supervisor also told police it appeared the professor tried to put money back into the club funds from his own retirement account.

He started at N.C. State in Aug. 1997. According to documents obtained by WNCN, Whisnant made a salary of $100,370.

Discrepancies in the Animal Science Club’s bank statements, identified by the club’s student treasurer, were reported to the university’s office of internal audit on Jan. 14, and the police began an investigation on Jan. 19.

The investigation expanded to two other student organizations that Whisnant also advised, Alpha Zeta Agriculture Honors Fraternity and the Agri-Life Council, an umbrella organization of recognized student groups in the College of Agriculture of Life Sciences.

Arrests warrants say Whisnant stole $750 from the Agri-Life Council, $16,861 from Alpha Zeta, and $54,255 from the Animal Science Club.

Whisnant’s wife did not want to comment at his hearing earlier this month. The judge put him on electronically monitored home arrest until his next court date in March.

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