NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fitch Ratings is aware of the recent felony charge of grand theft against the comptroller of the Seminole Boosters, Inc. (the Boosters), a 501c(3) direct support organization of Florida State University (FSU). Fitch maintains an 'A' rating on the revenue bonds of FSU Financial Assistance, Inc., which is a component unit of the Boosters.
While both external and internal investigations appear to be underway, initial reports state that the comptroller allegedly stole between $500,000 and $700,000 from the Boosters. While this is a nominal sum compared to the Boosters overall operating budget and balance sheet resources, Fitch is concerned with the lapse in internal controls. Fitch has reached out to management and expects to speak with them next week. The comptroller's employment with the Boosters was terminated effective Wednesday, October 1.
Fitch notes positively that the security pledged to FSUFA's revenue bonds includes revenues not only of the Boosters but also revenues that are sourced directly from FSU's athletic department. FSU-related revenues include athletic facility rent and net ticket sales, which total $6.85 million annually and alone, cover maximum annual debt service ($6.67 million) on FSUFA's revenue bonds by 1x.
For more information on FSU Financial Assistance, Inc. please see Fitch's report dated September 5, 2014 available at 'www.fitchratings.com'.
Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'.