Former student charged with theft
Used Panhellenic credit card for personal purchases
Published: Thursday, October 15, 2009
Updated: Thursday, October 15, 2009 13:10
Potentially fraudulent purchases on a Loyola Panhellenic Council credit card have landed a former panhellenic officer in jail.
Marie d'Auria Groux-Holt, who was a mass communication student scheduled to graduate in May 2009, has since left the university. According to court documents, she used the credit card, intended for Panhellenic purchases only, for more than $3,000 in personal purchases from October 2008 to February of 2009.
Groux-Holt was arrested at her home in Jefferson, La. on Feb. 19 and later released without bail.
Groux-Holt, an alumna of Theta Phi Alpha, was serving as vice president for recruitment for Loyola's chapter of the Panhellenic Council, the governing body overseeing Loyola sororities when the charges were made.
Last year, no one held the position of finance officer for Panhellenic Council. Groux-Holt was placed in charge of purchasing for and therefore held the credit card.
Groux-Holt made her first appearance in court June 2.
The charges, totaling $3,252.89, included paying for other people's tabs because Groux-Holt said it gave her a "feeling of empowerment," according to court documents.
Groux-Holt said in an e-mail, "To my knowledge, at least $2000 of the alleged charges were actually spent on recruitment costs. I never said that anything ‘gave me a sense of empowerment,' nor is any reference to the ‘Underground' accurate."
According to the court documents, Groux-Holt told Jessica Murphy, the former assistant director for Co-Curricular Programs, when confronted about the charges that her parents were no longer sending her money and she had no means for paying for the charges.
Murphy discovered the charges and contacted the New Orleans Police Department.
The documents read Groux-Holt told Murphy that she used the credit card to pay her bills, personal purchases and other people's tabs at what is now "Satchmo's."
She faces charges of theft, which carry a potential sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
Groux-Holt said in an e-mail, "I am truly sorry. During an extremely difficult time, my actions were completely irrational and misguided. It was never my intention to hurt anyone, and I can only seek forgiveness."
Abby Gordon, marketing senior and president of Loyola's Panhellenic Council, declined to comment.
Robert Reed, assistant vice president for Student Affairs, declined to comment because the case is being handled in court.
Meredith Hartley, university spokeswoman, said she did not want to comment about the charges because it is a Panhellenic Council issue.
Kyle Niederpruem, spokeswoman for National Panhellenic Conference, said the "NPC has not been informed about this case through any formal channels."
Groux-Holt's next court appearance, a rule to show cause hearing, is set for Dec. 2.
Jean-Paul Arguello can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org