Company Owner Charged with Misapplying Texas A&M Funds

By: KBTX Staff
By: KBTX Staff

He was responsible for flying the men's and women's basketball programs at Texas A&M to their away games, now the owner of Aviation Enterprises is facing charges of misapplying Texas A&M funds to the tune of $200,000.

In addition to the criminal charges, Walter Eric Shirley and his company are also being sued by A&M for breach of contract.

Shirley, 50, turned himself in to the Brazos County Jail on Dec. 17 and was released that same day on $25,000 bail. He is charged with misapplication of fiduciary property, a first-degree felony punishable by life in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Texas A&M spokesman Jason Cook said the university filed a lawsuit against Aviation Enterprises for breach of contract after the company provided three flights and demanded higher payment for the remaining 10 "a clear violation of the procurement agreement."

The university seeks reimbursement of $371,030 in funds paid in advance to the company for a portion of the cost for the 10 charter flights that were not fulfilled as part of the agreement, Cook said.

"It is a common practice among universities nationwide to pre-pay vendors for securing airplanes, crew and fuel due to the high costs associated with providing air transportation services," Cook said. "This is believed to be the first time an incident of this magnitude regarding advance payment made for transportation service delivery for our athletic teams has occurred at Texas A&M."

Cook declined to comment any further because of the lawsuit.

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