Former Pfeiffer administrator under FBI investigation for embezzlement

By David Larson | Stanly County Journal

MISENHEIMER — Pfeiffer University has confirmed reports that the FBI is investigating a former administrator for embezzling funds. The university made clear in a statement that only one employee, former chief financial officer Jeffrey Plyler, is being investigated, and he is no longer working for them.  

Plyler, who received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Pfeiffer in 2002, served as their CFO from 2013 until October of last year.  

A statement provided by Casey Habich, the university’s director of marketing and communication, to North State Journal said, “Jeffrey Plyler is no longer employed or affiliated with Pfeiffer University. Pfeiffer University cooperates with all government investigations. To comment further is outside the purview of Pfeiffer University.” 

The story was originally broken by WBTV, a CBS-affiliate out of Charlotte, and few details were available. The report stated, “The FBI is investigating a former Pfeiffer University administrator amidst allegations he embezzled roughly $500,000.”  

The article also reported that, “A spokeswoman for the FBI declined to comment when asked about this investigation.” 

In spite of this troubling development concerning a former administrator, the school wants the public to know they are proceeding with business as usual in educating their students.  

Habich says Pfeiffer University is excited they are opening a doctoral level occupational therapy program in Albemarle soon. Pfeiffer University received a $34.5 million loan from the United States Department of Agriculture from the Rural Development Community Facilities fund. Much of this funding will be used to build the Albemarle campus and also to make renovations of some other sites on its main campus.  

Pfeiffer University has been in Stanly County, in the town of Misenheimer, since 1910, when it was a high school called the Mitchell School. It later began offering college courses and changed its name. The school has 1,2000 students and is associated with the United Methodist Church. 

The university is having an open house March 16 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for high school students, their parents and anyone seeking to earn or complete a bachelor’s degree.